This game essentially comes down to over pursuit, and extremely poor tackling! In a game in which the Cowboys defense had Donovan McNabb on the run all night long, these two elementary items had them look very poor at times! How is it possible for professional athletes to not be able to perform the most basic of tasks? Do they not work on these things on a daily basis? Do coaches stop teaching tackling after high school?
If you look at the defensive performance as a whole unit, it can best be described as average. I am seeing some of the same poor decisions being made that we saw last year. Maybe I am too hard on them, maybe I expect too much from them. When I (an average player 20 years ago) see things such as not protecting cutback lanes, not covering your zone in the cover 2 (Roy Willy) it drives me nuts! Thankfully we have an unstoppable offense.
Jay Ratliff is a beast I would like to point that out first off. Rat played hard the entire game protected his zones and applied pressure. Chris Canty and Marcus Spears also played hard, sometimes too hard! Over pursuit is the first topic these guys need desperately to address, Followed shortly there after by up the middle pressure. With D-Ware seeing double and triple teams, they must be able to apply pressure consistently. When they play a team with a back such as Westbrook he is looking for one thing and one thing only, CUTBACK LANES!!!! Was this not discussed throughout the week? If it was the team was not listening. It is the D-Lines job to push the runner outside and protect against the cutback, but for the whole first half of the game the entire D-Line chased to the sideline leaving huge holes back to the middle which Westbrook so kindly took advantage of.
The linebackers in this game for the most part played pretty solid. D-Ware saw double and triple teams all night but was still able to apply pressure and containment. Greg Ellis I thought did ok, just wish he spent more time focusing on his job rather than practicing his dance moves after making a tackle after losing containment. Zach Thomas appears to be back to his old self as he continues to be around the ball on every play. He even made an exceptional play in pass coverage on a throw that would have gone for 6. Kevin Burnett played well, although his pass coverage could use some work. The one that is bothering me is Bradie James this makes 2 games in a row in which his name was rarely called and he was rarely seen. I truly expected him to get better with the addition of Zach Thomas, but unfortunately that has not been the case.
I have but two main points to make on this unit. First, STOP PLAYING ZONE!!!! And THANK GOD ROY WILLY IS SIDELINED FOR 3 to 4 WEEKS!!! I cannot understand why with the athletes we have in the secondary that we continue to play so many zone coverage’s. Can someone please tell Wade Phillips and Brian Stewart that it does not matter how much time or effort they spend with Roy Willy, that he will never grasp the concept of zone coverage. If not for DeSean Jackson being a complete idiot he would have gotten beat deep for the first time according to Wade Phillips.
I watched that play several times and it amazes me how a player that has played football his entire life, cannot know what his responsibility is on that play! When you are playing cover two the safeties responsibility is the hash marks. So can someone please tell me why Roy Willy is standing less than 10 feet from Adam Jones, who is defending against the out route? This has become very old and I for one am sick of watching this loser! The rest of the secondary played extremely well, Other than a couple of rookie miscues from Mike Jenkins. Anthony Henry got the shaft on the pass interference call, he played that perfectly. It was obvious that T-New was still recovering and not quite himself yet. The only other thing I got is A.J. can you please pick up the damn ball when its rolling around on the field, even if you think it was a touchdown.
You guys better get your act together, stop bullshitting around, and start busting some people in the mouth!