Happy Thanksgiving! Along with the treat of turkey and potatoes, we also get to see an exciting game between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys. The last time this rivalry was played the Cowboys won 23-16 at the Giants stadium. This time, the Cowboys will be at home.
One problem Dallas struggled with last time was stopping Running Back Saquon Barkley. In the last match-up between the two teams, Barkley had 81 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown. How can the Cowboys stop this powerful running back?
According to most people, the Cowboys' biggest struggle on defense is the ability to stop the run game. However, last week against the Minnesota Vikings, the Cowboys managed to stop a very good running back by the name of Dalvin Cook. It's best to look at this game and determine what went right on defense.
The Cowboys' coaching staff needs to trust their cornerbacks a little more. I mean, I don't even remember a play where our cornerbacks let up a huge passing play while on the field. The Linebackers need to stop being forced to defend the pass and let them handle the running game.
Another good way to stop the run is to have the linemen force “fake” holes for the running back. This is something that I don't see very often in games because it's difficult to do. You first identify the run play and have your big men on the line shift the offensive linemen to create a hole. Allow Barkley to see that hole and BAM, a Cowboy lineman is sitting right there to stop him.
If teams could do this more, you would only be letting running backs gain an average of 1-2 yards a play. The Cowboys won't have it easy this Thanksgiving, as each team will meet with a 7-3 record. It's pretty crazy how far each team has come so far this season.
The Cowboys just need to complete one task, stop Barkley. I don't have much faith in the rest of the Giants' offense and I think Quarterback Dak Prescott can get past their defense. However, people sometimes forget that this is a rivalry game.
With a rivalry game, anything is possible. That's why the coaching staff and team should focus on stopping the biggest threat. Hopefully, over the week the Cowboys looked at some more film on Barkley and found ways to cease his running power.