Saturday, September 29, 2012
Opposing voice: Brandon Marshall
By Calvin Watkins
IRVING, Texas -- Last week the Cowboys defense faced a big-play threat in wide receiver Vincent Jackson and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
On Monday night, it will be Brandon Marshall who leads the Bears. He has 16 catches for 214 yards and one touchdown. Since 2007, Marshall has compiled 490 catches in 79 games, tied for the third most in the league behind New England's Wes Welker and Indianapolis' Reggie Wayne.
This season, Marshall's connection with quarterback Jay Cutler has struggled at times.
"It hasn't been difficult at all," Marshall responds. "We just need to make more plays and right now we're sitting at 2-1, not a bad position to be in. This is a big week for us and it's going to be tough, we're going against a No. 1 defense. If our offense can get rolling against a No. 1 defense, I think that will give us a lot of confidence, but I think it's going to be really tough going against that Ryan D."
The Cowboys have two corners who can handle Marshall in Brandon Carr and Mike Jenkins. Marshall faced Carr twice a year when they both played in the AFC West. Jenkins took on Marshall when the Cowboys visited during his time with the Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins. Jenkins was injured when Miami played Dallas last season, but he played against Marshall at times in 2009 when he played for Denver.
One of the more visible plays from the 2011 season is former Cowboys cornerback Terence Newman hanging onto the back of Marshall during a touchdown reception.
In the last two games against the Cowboys' defense, Marshall has nine catches for 194 yards and two touchdowns.
The issue of who covers him Monday night could vary depending on who defensive coordinator Rob Ryan starts at corner. In the Week 3 victory over Tampa Bay, Carr played free safety and Jenkins took over at cornerback. Ryan hasn't said who takes on Marshall this week, but Carr's shutdown corner skills makes him an early favorite.
"I know a lot about Brandon Carr and I really respect his game," Marshall said. "He does a lot of things at the line of scrimmage, really strong. I've been watching a lot of film on our matchups and I want to approach the game a little differently. (Morris) Claiborne, a rookie corner, respect what he's doing so far. I'm sure there are some things he will clean up out there. I think (Dallas) has a really good No. 1 pick down there."