Before we head for camp, I just thought I'd list off some things that I'd like to see from this year:
- 13/22 set. -- I'd actually like to run a lot of this lineup: Witten and Escobar in-line. Hanna at H back. Murray (or whoever) at RB and Dez wide. This is a hardcore power run formation, but if they go heavy to stop it, watch the opposing DC soil himself when Hanna splits out wide and Escobar moves into the slot. The other obvious ploy is play action and look for Dez deep sideline. If the safety stays home on Dez, you have three TEs creating mismatches in the intermediate passing game.
- power I 01 set - It's a standard power I formation, again with Hanna at H back and Witten in-line. Dez and presumably Miles outside. Dwayne Harris at RB. Run tosses, swing passes and screens from this set, or shift Harris and Hanna out into the slot positions and run an empty backfield.
- 10 set -- Just would like to see Bryant and Williams on the outside, Austin and Harris in the slots. With Lawrence's speed, if he can be a legit 3rd down guy, he could make this already scary formation truly heart stopping
- MOFO -- See Joey's Four Verticals against Cover Two (approx. 6:00) with Witten running the "bender" route and Hanna or Austin (depending on whether 11 or 12 personnel) deep down the seam.
- Welcome back Carter -- I can't *wait* to see Carter blitzing. Whether you zone dog Ware back into coverage (which he has the athleticism to do) or you just risk sending Carter along with the rushmen, I look forward to see his "catch up to Julio Jones" speed running right by a LT and his 245lbs of muscle barreling right through a RB on his way to the QB.
- Spencer's Swan Song -- It seems clear that Spencer will be one of the higher priced free agents in the off season and I expect him to have a career year. Not because he's in a contract year, but because he'll be unleashed. Demarcus Ware was on a full blown tear the first half of the season, with 9 sacks in the first 8 games. As Ware's injury rendered him less capable, the Cowboys began to use Spencer to try to make up the difference. The result, Spencer nearly replaced Ware's production, with 8 sacks in the final 8 games. Let him do it the whole year, with 4 games against rookie RTs and, yeah, he's gonna get a HUGE contract.
- Spencer's understudy -- Tyrone Crawford has immense physical gifts. He is fast and agile enough (4.78 forty, 7.09 3-cone) that I initially thought they drafted him as a SOLB. At 285, with those measurables, he's going to be a force.
- A Safe run defense -- The reason I am excited about Johnson and Wilcox is a little different than most. Everyone is excited to have our pass defense shored up, and that *is* a good thing, but one of the things this defense depends on is run support from the DBs (see Indy with Bob Sanders vs. without). Wilcox and Johnson both move like heat seeking missles in run defense. The important thing to note is that this does NOT make them "in the box guys". Far from it, the key here is that these guys are fast enough, both in recognition/reaction and physical speed, that they can sit in deep zones and still come up and stop runners or screen plays for very middling gains. That will go a long way towards keeping RBs from gouging us for 200 yards.