Thursday, November 17, 2011
Five-star: Expect Redskins to put eight in box
By Bryan Broaddus
Five-star question: Will the Cowboys hit their average of 177.0 yards rushing per game since DeMarco Murray became the starter?
There is no doubt that Murray has made a huge difference in not only the way the Cowboys run the ball, but also how he's helped Tony Romo, the offensive line, Jason Garrett as a play caller and even the defense.
From what I've studied this week, the Redskins can play good run defense -- at times -- with their front seven. Linebackers Rocky McIntosh and London Fletcher are always around the ball and play off blocks well. Nose tackle Barry Cofield and end Adam Carriker can be stout at the point of attack. Then you have the speed from the edge with Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo, who can run down plays from the backside.
The last five games, the Redskins have allowed 149.2 yards a game rushing -- but two of those games were against Carolina and Philadelphia, who have mobile quarterbacks who help pad those yardage totals.
Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett knows that the Cowboys' success begins with Murray and what the offense is able to generate on the ground. The Cowboys have already had to deal with eight-man boxes this season and have had some success.
This really is the Redskins' last stand on a season that started out with so much promise. The defense hasn't been the problem, and I don’t think it will be again this week. Murray will get his 100, but I can also see Jones chipping in with 40 or 50 as well -- but that’s really all the Cowboys will be able to manage.
So, no, the Cowboys won't reach their average. However, the Cowboys will reach the most important total -- a six in the win column.