Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dallas - Game Review ... Defense, STs


COLE – Won his share of battles. Got pressure several times, but could not get to Romo. Drew a critical holding penalty late in the 1st half that erased a long gainer to Owens. Drew another holding call early in the 3rd quarter. Got called for a penalty for shoving a blocker after a false start penalty. You can argue the call, but as soon as the Cowboy hit the ground I knew they’d get Trent. 15 free yards on a key drive.

JUQUA – Quiet game. Had a pair of tackles. Got little pressure. Best play came in the 3rd when he got by Colombo and flushed Romo to the right side. Struggled to take on double teams on run plays that came his way. Fought as best he could, but gave ground. You don’t expect a guy his size to handle double teams. Did flush Romo when he got pressure with a hard inside move in the 4th. Dallas ran at him on the final drive. J did everything humanly possible to stop Barber and kept him an inch or two short of the goal line. Used excellent burst and an inside move to get to Barber on late running play.

HOWARD – Played better than I thought initially. Got double-teamed on early 3rd down plays at DT. Played both end spots. Just missed a sack from LDE when Romo ducked under him. That pressure did lead to Asante’s INT. Made a good tackle of Jones on an End Around that could have easily turned into a big play. Darren handled the play perfectly. He came upfield at the snap, but held his ground. Had a blocker come his way. Took on the blocker, located the ball, then shed the blocker and tackled Jones. Hell of a play. Young DEs should watch this. Textbook stuff. Tackled Barber from behind on a short run up the middle.

CLEMONS – First time I noticed him at DE was in the 4th quarter. Only played a handful of snaps. Didn’t get any pressure.


PATTERSON – Got penetration on the opening play and hit Barber in the backfield. Battled Davis 1-on-1 most of the game. Might be 50 or 60 pounds lighter than Leonard, but wins his share of battles. Played with excellent leverage. Got handled by Davis on a good run up the middle in the 3rd. Almost made the stop on the go-ahead TD run. Fought off 2 blockers and got his hands on Barber, but didn’t seem to have his feet cleanly under him and couldn’t hold on. Played the run well, but didn't get a whiff of Romo. Has to be more of a factor as a pass rusher.

BUNKLEY – Beat the LG on an early pass and hurried a throw from Romo. Very stout against the run. Got a lot of doubles because of the backup LG playing, but Bunk held his ground. Came free on a stunt where he looped outside and nailed Romo. That was our best hit on Tony all night (sadly). Showed pretty good hustle in terms of chasing plays down from behind. Got Barber from behind, 15 yards downfield. Made a good play on 3rd/short to almost get Barber for no gain. Did finish with 4 tackles, but I need to see him making plays in the backfield, not the secondary.

LAWS – Had a shot at the ball in the endzone, but just missed it. Didn't play very much.

KLECKO – Played LDT in a Nickel set in the 2nd quarter. Also played some early in the 3rd. Tripped up Romo on a play where he was unblocked. Played in the GL sets also. Exploded off the ball on the final TD play. Davis was able to control him, though.


BRADLEY – Sorta quiet game. Had 4 tackles, only 2 solo. Blew up a running play right at the LOS, but couldn’t bring Barber down cleanly. Fell on his backside when trying to tackle Barber in space on a pass play over the middle. Got manhandled by Gurode on a run up the middle. On the next play Stewart had man coverage on Barber and got burned for a TD. He only trailed by a step, but that was enough. Not the Monday night debut he wanted.

GOCONG – Played better than I realized. Blitzed on early 2nd down and flushed Romo, but didn’t get very close. Scored his first career TD when he recovered Romo’s fumble in the endzone. Only got in on one tackle. Hustled to get in on a tackle of Barber after he’d gotten downfield a bit. Helped to save a TD on the play. Disrupted a running play by blowing up the FB in the backfield. Blew up a 3rd quarter run by hitting Barber in the backfield. Couldn’t bring him down. Blitzed in the 4th and just missed a sack. Unfortunately it was a screen pass run to the area where Gocong came from. Gain of 25. Got away with a shot to Romo’s helmet on the play.

OMAR – Up and down game. Beat the FB on an Iso run and helped Dawk to have a TFL. Made a shoestring tackle of Barber after a pass to the right flat. Got completely confused on an End Around to Felix Jones. Stayed with the RB, then saw Felix, and then still seemed confused. Overran a Barber run that started up the middle. Left a huge void and Marion cut back and headed to that area. Almost a TD. Got blown up by the FB on a run play, but oddly Barber took the run the other way. Couldn’t tackle Barber on a run play up the middle. Got his hands on him, but was a step away from really getting him solidly. Tackled TEs well after the catch. Romo threw some dump off passes to his TEs.


DAWK – Bad game. Age is showing. Struggled vs Jason Witten. Did have an early TFL on a Barber run. Got burned by Owens for a TD on a slant near the goal line. In fairness to Brian, that matchup is not good for him. Maybe 3 or 4 years ago, but not right now. Had the FF when he hit Romo in the endzone. Broke up a pass early in the 3rd. Romo put a lot of air on a downfield ball. Dawk got to the receiver just as the ball did. Dawk hit the ball as the receiver tried to catch it. Got burned by Witten on a seam route that went for 32 yards and put Dallas at the 5 and set up the winning TD. Got pressure when he blitzed on DAL’s final 3rd down. Forced an incompletion.

MIKELL – Good game. Had excellent coverage and broke up an early pass to Witten. Blew up a running play to the outside when he took out a pulling OT. That actually tripped up Barber for no gain. Blitzed up the middle on a 3rd/10 play. Looped around Bradley after he engaged the C. Nice design, but Q got a hand on Romo just after the ball was out. Made an excellent open field tackle of TE Martellus Bennett on a screen pass. Tackled Barber for a gain of only one on a 4th quarter run. Did that again on the next series. "Only" finished with 5 tackles, but always seemed to be in the middle of things.

CONSIDINE – Made a couple of critical mistakes. Bit on pump fake from Romo and let Owens get behind him. That led to 72-yard TD pass. Blitzed in the 4th quarter and hurried a throw on 3rd down. That forced Dallas to settle for a FG. Screwed up on the Dallas final TD. Was supposed to stay outside on the play. Saw Barber going inside initially and stepped in to help out. Barber came free from Patterson and went outside (where Sean was) and scored. Sean has to play that outside in. Dallas may have scored on the next play, but you never know.


SAMUEL – Solid game. Got his first pick as an Eagle. Romo threw a dumb pass and was off target. Asante just caught the ball and weaved upfield for a return of 14. You can see he’s got excellent ball skills. Had a couple of tackles. Energetic guy. Plays with a lot of emotion and enthusiasm. I like that. Made a good tackle of Barber out in space after he broke free on a run. Called for PI while covering Owens in the endzone on the final drive. That gave DAL the ball at the one. Legit call.

BROWN – Led the team in tackles, but didn’t exactly have a great game in covering Owens. Gave up completion for 1st down on the opening 3rd down of the game. Did take out one of Owens legs while he was in the air and that led to a nasty fall. Had solid coverage on a sideline throw to Owens that fell incomplete. Was beaten for a big gain when he bit on a double move, but a holding call erased the play. Made a terrific play to stop a run. Lined up in the slot. Saw the run coming his way. Fought through the block of a receiver and held up Barber for no gain. Knocked a ball loose from Patrick Crayton, but Crayton was able to fall on it. Got a TFL in the 3rd quarter when he tackled Barber on a run play. Played CB/S when Dallas went to a 1-WR set. Tackled Witten to keep him out of the endzone on the big play that set up the winning score.

LITO – Very quiet game. Had a couple of tackles. Didn't come close to making a play. Had underneath coverage on Owens on the long TD. Wasn't at fault, though. Normally Dallas brings out the best in Lito, but that wasn't the case this game.

HANSON – I don't know if he played at all on defense. Dallas didn't play any 4 WR sets that I recall.



AKERS – Generally got good depth on his KOs. Was 2 of 2 on FGs, including a 44-yarder.

ROCCA – Another good showing. Averaged 48 yards per punt.

PR – Only had 2 returns, the long one for 11.

KOR – Quintin Demps had a good game on KOs. He averaged 25.5 per return. His long was 47 and set us up in Dallas territory. The opening KO went out of bounds and gave us the ball at the 40. That is two weeks in a row teams have kicked for the corner to start the game. Demps has other teams attention.


* The KOR TD looked to be mainly due to Akeem Jordan taking a dumb chance. As he, Tank, and JR approached the wedge, a small gap opened up. Jordan went through the gap. The blocker got enough of him so that Akeem couldn’t get to Jones. Once Felix had a crease, it was all over.

To be fair, JR Reed was badly held on the play. FB Deon Anderson had his left arm solidly grabbing the back of Reed’s jersey in a bear hug for almost 3 full seconds (an eternity on KOs). There was also a block in the back on Gocong.

* Dallas got away with a ridiculous amount of holding and blocks in the back on kick returns. I didn't notice this live, but it stood out big time when I studied the game. Guys would just grab handfuls of jersey. Other guys would shove tacklers in the back blatantly. Some were called, but not enough. Our coverage unit didn't play well, but they had a major disadvantage with what the officials let go on.

* Tony Hunt couldn’t sustain a block on one KOR. Demps had a chance to get up the sideline.

* MmmBop tied for the team lead with 2 STs tackles.

* Felix Jones muffed a KO and the ball got behind him. He got control of the ball inside the 5 and had a pile of Eagles on him immediately.

* Q Mikell made an outstanding tackle in KO coverage just before the half.

* Chris Clemons is playing well on STs. He had one tackle. He is aggressive in KO coverage. About those sacks on defense…

* I’d love to tell you that Demps got great blocking on his long return, but it looked like the Cowboys were just slow to get to the ball on that side. Buck did give him a nice lead block when they were already 20 yards upfield.

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