We're slowly moving toward another Cowboys game, this time out in Arizona with the Cardinals. What's going on with the Desert Birds? I talked to Jess Root over at the awesomely-named Revenge Of The Birds to get the 411.
Blogging The Boys: Is Kevin Kolb going to start, and how has he played for the Cardinals when healthy? What is his scouting report as a QB?
Revenge Of The Birds: As of now, it certainly looks like Kolb will get the start. As for when he was playing before the injury, unsteady is the word to describe his play. He looked good and confident some plays and others he looks skittish and flees the pocket quickly. He can make plays outside the pocket, though. Early in the season, the offense showed an ability to move the football.
BTB: Beanie Wells exploded last week. How much of that was the Cards offense, and how much the Rams defense which has been torched all year? How has the ground game been outside of last week?
ROTB: It was certainly a mix of both. But Beanie in 2011 is showing that he is tough. He still has had injuries but now he is playing through them and punishing defenders when he runs. Before his injury, he was running very well. After the injury before last week, it was shaky at best. However, the struggles also coincided with the games that rookie fullback Anthony Sherman was out. He is back and not coincidentally the running game improved.
BTB:. Patrick Peterson is a bad man. Should anybody ever punt to him? Of course not. Talk about his skills.
ROTB: As a punt returner, he is truly special. He has great hands (see the video of his last return -- his catch of the punt was incredible). His hands come in handy as he is able to make gunners think that he is going to call for a fair catch (see Carolina game). He is big and fast, and he has great vision. If you see his other returns, he shakes tackles, spins and just doesn't go down when he is in the open field. Peterson truly looks, even this early, that he is on par with Devin Hester in being a guy you just shouldn't punt to.
BTB: What are the strengths on defense? Who does Dallas need to contain to operate their offense efficiently?
ROTB: The overall strength is in the defensive line. Darnell Dockett is a matchup nightmare and Calais Campbell has been incredible this season. However, ILB Daryl Washington has been a true beast. He reminds people here of Karlos Dansby. He is everywhere. Plus, it looks like Ray Horton's schemes are finally coming together. Sam Acho has logged five sacks since Joey Porter went down with an injury. Dallas will need to contain Campbell and Washington and challenge the secondary. The secondary is the team's weak spot.
BTB: For the Cards to win, what do they have to do? What's the best gameplan?
ROTB: Number one on the list is to avoid turnovers. Secondly, slowing DeMarco Murray will be key. Offensively, Kevin Kolb will have to trust his pocket if he is to make plays against the Dallas secondary.
Thanks for the knowledge, Jess. Visit Revenge Of The Birds for more Cardinals news.