Thursday, October 27, 2011
Five-star: Good blocking will pave way for Murray
By Bryan Broaddus
Five-Star question: Will DeMarco Murray gain 100 yards against the Eagles' 23rd-ranked run defense?
Not taking anything away from DeMarco Murray and what he was able to do against the St. Louis Rams last week, but an awful lot of credit needs to be given to the Cowboys' offensive line, the tight ends and what fullback Tony Fiammetta was able to do at the point of attack. The Rams are a poor run defense and really struggled to get off blocks. If the Cowboys are able to continue to have Kyle Kosier and Tyron Smith get so much push, that Montrae Holland can get around the corner on a pull, block no one and still gain 7 yards, I would say that they would have success in the running game.
The Eagles' front seven is not built in a manner to stop the run. It's a pressure group that tests your ability to pass protect. Defensive tackle Mike Patterson is the only player that is 300 pounds. Defensive ends Jason Babin and Trent Cole play in a 4-3 defensive scheme what we call “Wide 9's” -- lining up on the outside shoulder of the tackles and rushing up the field as hard as they can. Cole is a much better run player than Babin, but both are undersized so they will struggle to have big bodies or multiple bodies on them.
The inside linebackers are undersized for the Eagles as well. When you run the ball at them, it is difficult for them to handle that power. Where they are at their best is if they are allowed to run to the ball and make plays from sideline to sideline.
Where the Cowboys can have success running the ball is if they can continue to get hats on hats and make the front seven for the Eagles have to fight blocks. Jason Witten, Martellus Bennett and John Phillips need to set the edge to allow Fiammetta to clean up defenders in space.
If the Cowboys can force the Eagles into having commit safeties in the box to help with the run, they have a chance to have a nice day offensively. I do think the Cowboys can block this front, and Murray will get his 100 yards Sunday.