Friday, September 9, 2011
Five-star answer: Matchups don't favor Cowboys
By Tim MacMahon
This week's question: Can Dallas hold the Jets under their 2010 rushing average per game?
Keith Brooking believes the Jets' personality, not their personnel, is the primary reason their running game is so successful. He admires the relentlessness of the "Ground and Pound" plan.
“They do not shy away from that regardless of what happens throughout the football game,” Brooking said. “If it doesn’t keep working in the beginning, they’re going to keep doing it and keep doing it.”
That’s not to say the personnel isn’t impressive. And the Jets’ two best blockers match up against Dallas’ best defensive players.
There aren’t many games in which the opponent has the edge in the matchup against Cowboys NT Jay Ratliff. This is one of them. Nick Mangold is an All-Pro mauler with a 22-pound advantage over Ratliff. If he’s able to handle Ratliff without help, it will be a long day for Dallas’ inside linebackers.
Pro Bowl left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson doesn’t have the edge over DeMarcus Ware, but it’s nowhere near the mismatch Dallas usually has with its most dominant player.
The Jets have the matchups to run the ball effectively against the Cowboys. They’ll also probably have the lead late in the game, which means they’ll run it a lot.
So the answer is no.