Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Dallas Cowboys [Print without images]

Sunday, October 2, 2011
Big Decision: How do you cover Calvin Johnson?

By Jean-Jacques Taylor

Detroit's Calvin Johnson is among the best receivers in the game, even though Rob Ryan seems to think Miles Austin and Dez Bryant are better.

Whatever.

And if Ryan hasn't been at his creative best this week putting together a plan that gives the Dallas Cowboys a chance to slow down Johnson, who has scored six touchdowns this season, then the Cowboys will get beat.

Ryan has to decide if he wants to use a safety to double cover Johnson all day, or if he prefers to have a linebacker take away the inside routes. Does he want to have Terence Newman shadow Johnson or would he consider giving Mike Jenkins, who prefers to bump-and-run, handle him much of the day.

Maybe, he'll focus all of his attention on creating pressure, so Matt Stafford doesn't have time to connect with Johnson who has 16 catches for 225 yards this season.

He's big, strong, fast and has excellent hands. He's by far the best receiver the Cowboys have faced in a game. Or practice.

Let's see how Ryan's defense fares.