Poll Question Of The Week: How Can The Cowboys Limit Philip Rivers?

Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

Philip Rivers has seemingly caught fire this season, and the Cowboys must limit him in some way in order to find success.

Not too many years ago, there was a large debate involving the comparison between Philip Rivers and Tony Romo. The argument usually concluded that, by virtue of greater team success, Philip Rivers is the superior quarterback. Fast forward to 2013, and Rivers has all but fallen out of relevance while Tony Romo exists in the dual identity of a top-5 quarterback and a punchline for bad football analysts.

But wait! Philip Rivers is off to a terrific start this season as the second-highest-rated quarterback so far, behind only Peyton Manning's video-game-like numbers.

The table below summarizes the Tony Romo to Philip Rivers comparison over three games.

Stat Tony Romo (Rank) Philip Rivers (Rank) League Best (Player)
Official NFL Stats
Passer Rating 103.9 (5) 116.2 (2) 134.7 (P Manning)
Yards/Attempt 6.7 (20) 7.98 (8) 9.37 (P Manning)
Completion % 72.2 (2) 70.0 (3) 73.0 (P Manning)
Advanced NFL Stats
AYPA 5.6 (12) 6.9 (3) 8.9 (P Manning)
WPA/G -0.07 (25) 0.36 (5) 0.43 (J Cutler)
EPA/P 0.07 (19) 0.41 (2) 0.44 (P Manning)
Football Outsiders
DYAR 186 (7) 416 (2) 653 (P Manning)
DVOA 11.9 (7) 44.5 (2) 67.2 (P Manning)


It's evident that Philip Rivers has been playing at a very high level and should be respected heading into this matchup. The key to stopping the Chargers, who are 1-2 in spite of Rivers' excellent play, will be to slow down their quarterback.

There are multiple ways to impact a quarterback's play. Limiting volume production, such as passing yardage or touchdown totals is one method. Generating interceptions is another way to limit a quarterback's effectiveness. Others still may want to control the quarterback by putting him on his back.

This brings us to the poll question of the week: what will constitute a successful defensive outing against Philip Rivers?

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