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Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Cowboys have to pick spots vs. Samuel

By Tim MacMahon

IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys have to approach Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel with a certain degree of caution.

Samuel tied for the NFL lead with nine interceptions this season and is one of the premier playoff thieves to have ever played the game. He’s tied for fifth in NFL history with seven career postseason interceptions. His four playoff pick-sixes are a league record.

“You have to watch out certainly,” Wade Phillips said. “You have to be aware of where he is because he’s very adept at breaking on the ball and making a play on it.”

However, that doesn’t mean the Cowboys should avoid throwing at Samuel, who can get himself in trouble by gambling.

According to Stats, Inc., Samuel allowed six touchdown passes this season, which tied for the eight most in the league. One of those was a Tony Romo throw to Jason Witten on the opening possession last week, when Samuel tried to jump the route and Romo threw a perfect pass to the other side of Witten.

Samuel gambled two other times against the Cowboys last week with mixed results. He jumped a red-zone slant to Patrick Crayton, deflecting a pass that Joselio Hanson intercepted. Miles Austin snagged an out route over Samuel the other time and turned upfield for a 40-yard gain.