The Washington Football Team offense isn’t that hard to dissect, they like to run the ball and control the clock in order to keep their defense fresh and the opposing offense which usually has more firepower on the sidelines. So how do you stop a team that wants to run the ball? Easy, stop the run, right? Well. it won’t be that easy thanks to the talented running back Antonio Gibson. Gibson is a true dual-threat running back who can spread out wide and run routes thanks to his time in college at Memphis as a wide receiver. Now that he has bulked up and become a dangerous running back in the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys defenders are going to have to be on their A-game when trying to get him to the ground.
Here’s why, currently Gibson has a total of 1,016 all purpose yards through 12 games with seven touchdowns coming from both rushing and receiving this season. While his 3.9 yards per carry isn’t earth shattering, he finds a way to make plays and pick up yards needed to move the chains. On the other hand, through the air he’s averaging 7.0 yards per catch with a catch percentage of 86.1%, only dropping five of his 36 targets this season. This shows that when he’s on the field the Washington Football Team does their best to get the ball in his hands. This could be magnified with the possibility of backup running back J.D. McKissic not playing as he returns to practice on a limited basis due to a concussion suffered against the Seattle Seahawks two weeks ago.
The Cowboys are hopefully getting some reinforcements on the defensive line with defensive tackle Trysten Hill returning from suspension as well as defensive end Randy Gregory and Neville Gallimore returning from injured reserve. If the Cowboys are able to get Gregory back on the outside with Hill and Gallimore in the middle, they are going to become more stout against the run while also allowing the Cowboys to move breakout rookie linebacker Micah Parsons back to middle linebacker, using his speed to help shut down the run.
If the Washington Football Team decides to try using Gibson as a receiver, then the Cowboys could take a page out of former defensive passing coordinator Kris Richard’s book and put cornerback Jourdan Lewis on him they way they did with Saints dual-threat running back Alvin Kamara. Lewis did an amazing job of shutting Kamara down in that game a few years back and it looks like a solid plan that could be utilized again this week if defensive coordinator Dan Quinn wants to go with it.
The goal this week is to not allow Gibson to get in a rhythm, take him out of the equation for the Washington Football Team, and force their offense to try and win passing the ball. That will give the Cowboys pass rushers the ability to harass Taylor Heinicke whose being protected by a banged up offensive line.