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Film review: Cowboys vs. Rams (defense)


NTJay Ratliff had an average game. The Rams were able to exploit the middle for some running yards and they were able to move Ratliff on occasion. He had one good pass rush but was unable to lock up the QB. His play was a notch below what we saw from him previously. Remi Ayodele was in there but I didn’t see him make any plays. He also got moved in the middle on a good run by the Rams.

DEChris Canty was strong against the run as usual. He shows great technique when being double-teamed and holds the point of attack. On the down side, he didn’t do much in the pass rush. Marcus Spears had a very active game including ½ a sack. He also had a couple of other nice pressures on the QB and made a couple of good plays in the run game. By far his best game of the year. He wasn’t perfect as they ran on his side a couple of times and Spears was blocked out of the play, but it was an improvement. Jason Hatcher got some more playing time but didn’t do a whole lot with it. I got him for one nice run stuff and he flushed the QB out of the pocket on a pass rush. Stephen Bowen had one play against the run.

OLBDeMarcus Ware was dominant on defense in this game. His stats don’t tell the whole story. He had one sack but punished Marc Bulger on several other plays and caused incomplete passes. He also drew a personal foul from the Rams tackle for hands to the facemask. The Cowboys started stunting him inside regularly in this game and he got pressure from it on a couple of occasions. He also made a great tackle in the run game from that stunt, and collected three other run stops that were great plays. Once though, the Rams caught them in this stunt and ran right through it for a good gain. He also got called for offsides that negated a fumble recovery. Anthony Spencer wasn’t very active in the game. The TE fooled him in on a pass play by holding up at the line and then releasing; Spencer left him to rush the QB and they got a good gain. The TE just beat him straight up in coverage on another play. He did disrupt a draw play in the backfield. Greg Ellis was very productive. Beside the 1.5 sacks, he was able to draw some of the heat away from DeMarcus Ware and allowed him to have a great game. Ellis was lining up with his hand on the ground and was rushing the passer except for one drop into zone coverage when Kevin Burnett and Nate Jones blitzed.

ILB – Solid job again from the inside duo of Bradie James and Akin Ayodele. They do their number one job very well and that is to stuff the run coming through the middle. While the Rams were able to get past the line on occasion they weren’t able to get runs into the secondary often because of James and Ayodele. They aren’t missing tackles either, when they get a hold of a back they usually go down. They also aren’t being asked to play on obvious passing downs so they don’t have to cover that often. Kevin Burnett plays a lot in the nickel/dime packages and is doing a good job. He, along with part of the secondary, had a break down on the Rams play that converted the 3rd and 23, but mostly he was solid. Bobby Carpenter played some but mostly just dropped into zone coverage.

CBAnthony Henry made a great pass break-up, but then hurt his ankle. Terence Newman shifted over to right cornerback and was pretty close to his normal self. They only threw at him a few times for one completion and he had a great open-field tackle on a dump-off pass, along with some other tackles. Jacques Reeves is getting better at corner although he still plays soft and gives up yards. But he had a pass break-up in the game and he is becoming a sure-tackler after the receiver catches the ball. This was his best game so far. Nate Jones was also in on the 3rd and 23 play as he backed off Holt and let him get a big hole inside. But he hasn’t been an issue for us and he played well again as the nickel corner once Henry was out. He got a pressure on a blitz play and made a nice tackle in the open field.

SRoy Williams was very quiet in this game. He was in on some tackles but for the first time in a while, he didn’t make a huge play one way or the other. It was amazing just how little he showed up on film. Usually, he has big plays, either good or bad, but not this week. Ken Hamlin was active this week, he got an INT in the endzone that Bulger threw right to him, and he also had good coverage on another pass in the endzone that was on 3rd down. He made a great open field tackle to kill a 3rd down play. Pat Watkins fell down while trying to tackle Holt on 3rd and 23 but didn’t do much else except for special teams where he is very good.

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