Four games into the season the line has been fairly solid. Not spectacularly but has gotten the job done. After yielding 4 sacks in their debut on 9/11 in New York, they have only given up an average of 1 sack a game which puts them on pace for 28 in a season. That would be a career low for Tony Romo.
It was a tough start on the ground the first 2 games in which 1 was a debut on the road in the most hostile environment during 9/11 and the 2nd against a top 5 run defense. Since then the Cowboys have rushed for 100+ yards in back to back games.
When looking at this Sundays game against the Pats it appears it will be the Yuglies toughest match up to date. The duo of Vince Wilfork and Albert Hanynesworth present a huge challenge because of thier size. Both listed at 350+ pounds that's almost 1,000 lbs of human in the middle of the D line.
However the overhaul of the O line this season was a transition from a big massive line to a more mobile athletic line. The average weight has dipped I believe 25 lbs lighter than the years past. This goes hand in hand with the struggles of getting a push on short yard plays. But this line is designed to move more lateral and to get in space. This is why this Sunday we could see the true use of the Yuglies because of the match up.
The Cowboys backs, Felix in general operates best in space. Running up the gut this week won't be an advantage for the boys. But there are ways of taking advantage of the Mammoths while they are on the field.
***Stretch plays and Sweeps will allow Felix to get to the edge and into space a lot faster without meeting the big guys first. Swing passes will also take them out of the play almost immediately. The speed and athletic ability of the o line will allow them to beat the extremely heavier New England line to the spots.
***I anticipate stretched plays, sweeps, and swing passes on early downs a lot on Sunday. Where Romo and Garret can hit gold is early down screens to the backs and WRs. Much like the swing pass this almost immediately eliminates the big guys out of the play and allows our more mobile line to get into space and put a body on the smaller Lbs and Corners.
I don't believe there is fear of New Englands pass rush so being able to make the safetys come down into the box tilts the scale even more to the Cowboys in the passing game. And if they chose to keep their safetys back you continue to grind in space and set up play action.
Romo does fairly well against teams that play a 4-3 base defense. It's easier to depict where the pressure is coming from. And I don't see the Pats bringing extra pressure which would make the worst passing defense more deceptive to getting beat deep. This plays a factor in Romos ability to 'kill' passing plays to run plays when New England does take out Wilfork and Haynesworth.
The run game and use of the RBs will have to be employed this weekend for the mere fact of ball control and keeping Brady on the sideline. But a successful use of the 2 increases the odds of a win in Foxboro. It would help if it got little Yuglie.