Will third time be charm vs. read-option?

October, 11, 2013
10/11/13
11:00
AM ET
IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys had no answer for the read-option last year when they played the Washington Redskins.

DeMarcus Ware was left guessing and Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III always seemed to have the right answer in keeping the ball or giving it to Alfred Morris, who had 313 yards and four touchdowns in Washington’s series sweep of the Cowboys in 2012.

“Just having the opportunity to see it two times last year, this is our third time, you get used to what they’re doing,” Ware said. “That’s not to say that you’re going to stop them cold turkey, but you’re going to slow it down to a point where you’re effective, where you try to pull them out of that situation and put them into a more conventional offense.”

It’s not like defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin had monumental success against the read-option at Southern Cal, but Ware said the Cowboys will have a different approach against it this year.

“I couldn't tell you the answer, then you’ll know what we’re doing,” Ware joked.

Griffin has not run as much through the first four games as he continues to recover from his offseason knee surgery, but the Cowboys still see a threat to run. And Morris has 296 yards on 56 carries this season.

"Like most teams in the NFL we worked on it because teams are using this and it was an effective tool for a few of the offenses, and you’ve just got to make sure you have good answers for it," coach Jason Garrett said. "Teams do it a lot of different ways and you have to make sure you address that with your team and you’re gap sound and you have a plan for what they’re doing. One of the real challenges that teams like the Redskins and some of the others that are using it is they were doing it all the time, if they were only a read-option team, you could really hunker down and play it. One of the real strengths of what they do is they do that, but they also do a lot of other things you have to get yourself ready for. So that’s a challenge to your defense and that’s one of the reasons they’ve been pretty effective on offense."

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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