As the weeks keep going by and we inch closer to some actual football being played in 2017, we take a look at yet another Monday Moment.
This Monday, we move onto week 10, where the Dallas Cowboys traveled to Pittsburgh and played in arguably the best regular season game of the entire season. A back and forth battle in which each offense proved to be unstoppable in the game’s final quarter, this November game proved to be a classic.
The play we will breakdown today, however, was the eventual game winner. After a facemask penalty put the Cowboys in realistic field goal range, they figured they’d hand the ball to Ezekiel Elliott and let Dan Bailey do the rest.
Both the Cowboys offensive line and Elliott had different plans, however.
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Let’s take a look at the film.
The Cowboys come out in a somewhat heavy package, in 12 personnel but with six offensive linemen. Ezekiel Elliott is the only running back on the field, and is given the ball on a simple inside zone play.
On the snap of the ball, the interior of the Cowboys offensive line begins to go to work. Pittsburgh tries to slant both their 3-technique and 1-technique into the a-gaps to blow up the middle of the play. They also bring a stand-up blitzer right over Travis Frederick‘s head.
This could spell trouble for Dallas, but the entire offensive line does a great job of washing down the down linemen as well as the blitzer, to open up a backside lane for Elliott. A special shout out goes to left guard Ronald Leary on this play, as he drives the defensive tackle straight into the turf.
On that same left side we see two of the most important blocks of the play. First, left tackle Tyron Smith does a great job of staying square on his track, and cutting off the backside linebacker on the second level. Next, we see tight end Gavin Escobar scoop and reach the right edge defender to clear the way for Elliott.
Once all the blocks are in place, Ezekiel Elliott makes the right read, and does the rest.
Touchdown Cowboys for their 8th straight win.