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

Sunday, November 11, 2012
Big Decision: Rob Ryan must unleash the blitz

By Jean-Jacques Taylor

This is not the week to be passive. This is not the week for defensive coordinator Rob Ryan’s defense to sit back in a zone.

After all, we saw how well that worked for the Cowboys last week, when the defense gave up seven completions of 20 yards or more to Atlanta receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White.

This is the week for Ryan to attack Philadelphia’s raggedy offensive line and quarterback Michel Vick, who said this week that he’s been hit more this season than any other in his career.

He’s been sacked 27 times this season, including at least three times in each of the last four games. New Orleans sacked him seven times last week.

Understand, the Cowboys have blitzed just 16 times in the past three games, perhaps an indication Ryan doesn’t want his safeties in too many man-to-man situations.

Well, he needs to go out of character this week.

The Eagles’ offense has been scrutinized all week. Coach Andy Reid has been lambasted, Vick has been ripped and it’s a unit in disarray. The Cowboys can’t allow them to find their confidence early.

To stop that from happening, Ryan must attack an offensive line that’s missing four starters and take advantage of Vick’s inability to consistently make good pre-snap reads.

Attack mode from the start is the way for the Cowboys to win. If they play passively and stay in a zone, then Desean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin will have success similar to that of White and Jones.