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Bucs @ Cowboys: Quick scouting report

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I watched the Bucs/Skins game and here's a quickie scouting report.

On the right side of their offensive line they are playing two rookies, G Davin Joseph and T Jeremy Trueblood. The Cowboys should test both players to get pressure on the QB. When they use the nickel, they should continue to move DeMarcus Ware over to the left side of the defense and let him battle Trueblood. If they want to blitz the right side of the Bucs line provides an inviting target.

Tampa likes to run the ball and they like to run it up the middle or to the left. Most of their good gains on the ground against Washington came running off-tackle or using sweeps around the left side of their line. Ware and Chris Canty need to be especially tough against the run, and fortunately for Dallas, Anthony Henry is a very good CB in run support. When they go to the right and the edge is clogged, Cadillac Williams will cut it back to the middle, so Jason Ferguson and the backside linebacker have to stay home and not over-pursue.

Bruce Gradkowski looked like a rookie QB, when he got pressured he made some bad decisions. If the Cowboys can get pressure like last week, they should be able to turn the ball over. Gradkowski can run a little and he picked up some first downs with his legs. He worked the middle of the field against the Skins and used his backs in the flats, so Bradie James and Akin Ayodele need to be strong in coverage and with their tackles.

Joey Galloway is their big threat and Gradkowski hit him a few times across the middle, once for a TD against an 8-man blitz. The rest of the receivers are not as good and they dropped several balls, as they have all year long.

On defense, they don't have Simeon Rice and they needed to blitz to get continued pressure. They like to blitz up the middle and they'll use Derrick Brooks or a DB to bring pressure. The Cowboys have been blocking the middle blitz much better since the Philly game and they need to continue it this week and let the backs or Romo's feet take care of any outside threat. They blitzed a defensive back at least four times in the game; Romo needs to take that into account before the snap.

They still play a lot of the Tampa 2 defense, which means safeties back guarding against the big play and the corners up being physical with the receivers. If the Cowboys can run the ball that should draw the LB's up toward the line of scrimmage and Dallas might be able to work the intermediate middle in the passing game. They're banged up in the secondary; expect Dallas to test them deep down the sidelines, avoiding the safeties, with Owens and Glenn.