Coming into the Sunday night game against the Saints, the Dallas Cowboys are the healthiest they've been on defense since the start of training camp. And really, you can argue it's the healthiest they've been in years.
Rolando McClain, Terrell McClain, Henry Melton and Davon Coleman all practiced on Friday and are listed as questionable against the Saints. Also listed as questionable – but didn't practice on Friday – is defensive end Anthony Spencer.
Spencer is expected to play, but exactly how much is yet to be seen. In saying that, Spencer will lead us into this weekend edition of players to watch.
Spencer comes into the game making his season debut, so there's going to be a lot of rust there. And that should be expected for a guy who hasn't taken a regular season snap in over a year. With Spencer coming back, he's bringing with him his ability to rush the passer and that's exactly what the doctor ordered for this defensive line.
With the return of Spencer, the coaches have decided to move Crawford inside to play the 3 technique of this defense. What Crawford lacks in bulk (275 lbs) he makes up for with quickness. Drew Brees likes to get rid of the ball quickly, and by moving Crawford inside the ‘Boys hope to make Brees get rid of the ball sooner than he wants.
He's making his first start of the season and chances are, he'll be assigned coverage of rookie standout Brandon Cooks. Look for Scandrick to try getting in the rookie's head to take him out of his game.
How a player reacts to adversity tells a lot about who he is as a player, and as a person. Mo learned Scandrick was taking his starting spot earlier in the week and didn't take the news so well. He later came back, and apologized for his actions to his teammates and coaches. So I expect Mo to have an impact in this game in a very positive way.
I'm wanting to see if coach Linehan continues to run the ball if the Saints get on top early. So far he's shown that he's determined to run it, I just want to see if he does it against a high-powered offense like the Saints.
I've had Murray on my players to watch list every single game so far. The last two weeks I've said the same thing about his inability to hold on to the ball before each game. And each game he's proven me right. I'm going to say it one more time, DeMarco, hold on to the DAMN BALL! HIGH AND TIGHT MAN!!
He came through last week with a big touchdown in the 4th quarter. And since Dez Bryant will continue to see double-coverage and sometimes triple teamed, I think Williams gets plenty of chances to make big plays tonight.
Last week we started to see some of the old Tony Romo we are accustomed to seeing. He was more agile in the pocket and he started to see the field better than he had in previous weeks. I've said from the start I thought his problems were more because of rust than anything physical. And so far, that looks to be the case. I believe we see more of the same from Romo this week.
Week 4 Results
Even though the Cowboys defense will be healthier I still expect to see a high scoring game. Like every good QB, they all struggle with pressure in their face. Brees is no different, but I'm just not sure the ‘Boys can do it enough to make a difference in this game. I see the Saints winning 38-31.
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