Saturday, December 17, 2011
How you feeling? Cowboys-Buccaneers
By Dan Graziano
As you get ready for Saturday night's game against the Buccaneers in Tampa, here's one reason for Dallas Cowboys fans to feel good and one reason for concern:
Feeling good: If ever there was a good game in which to re-establish the ground game with Felix Jones as the lead back in place of the injured DeMarco Murray, this is the one for Dallas. The Bucs allow 4.6 yards per rush attempt and 139.7 rush yards per game, making them one of the worst run defenses in the NFL. Dallas would do well to commit to the run early and get Jones into a rhythm. They won't be able to use him the same heavy way they used Murray, and they will have to throw more the rest of the way. But they should be able to make themselves multidimensional on offense against a Tampa Bay team that's lost seven games in a row.
Cause for concern: Tampa Bay is pretty good at protecting the passer, having only allowed 24 sacks this year. The Cowboys were unable to get a sack last week against Eli Manning and the Giants, and they're surely planning to run some creative blitzes against the Buccaneers to try to rattle quarterback Josh Freeman. If they can't get to Freeman -- especially on the blitz -- they're going to leave themselves exposed in the secondary, where they've had some real problems over the past month.