The Dallas Cowboys defense dominated the Washington Redskins in their latest Monday night win, mainly thanks to Rod Marinelli dialing up some unexpected blitzes – as the Cowboys got to Kirk Cousins three times in the win.
A hot defense is certainly an enormous sign of hope for any team at this stage of the season that has aspirations of making a playoff run – the 4-8 Cowboys not being excluded from this list.
Standing in their path this week is the site of last season’s nightmare ending – Lambeau Field. In a game that is remembered for Dez Bryant’s catch (you read that correctly, move on), a hobbled Aaron Rodgers was hit just three times as he threw for 316 yards and 3 scores.
As much as Dez Bryant wants to get his revenge on the offense, expect this defense to be just as angry and determined to get to Rodgers and make his life miserable. The question is, can they do so with just a four-man rush or will we see more pressure dialed up?
It’s a tough decision for Marinelli to make. While the credit from this week should go to Sean Lee and the front seven, guys like Byron Jones and Morris Claiborne have played great in coverage this season.
The Packers are certainly beatable this year, at 8-4 with a home loss to the Bears, proving they also aren’t as invincible at home as well. One of the reasons for their struggles has been the consistent lack of separation created from wideouts – mainly Randall Cobb and Richard Rodgers.
Rodgers’ yards per attempt index shows an incredibly clear and exponential decrease over the years, as he’s played behind some subpar offensive lives and is now dealing with a subpar receiving core.
The way the Cowboys defense plays in this game may be dictated by the offense. If they take an early lead, Marinelli will likely trust his front four and count on the secondary to limit big plays. If trailing, he may need to gamble at a chance to make a game-altering play on a blitz.
So, grabbing an early lead is a key for the Cowboys this Sunday? Dez Bryant shouldn’t have any problems helping out in that department…