We all know the phrase. We all remember the phrase. This week we get to see whether this incarnation of the Dallas Cowboys are who we think they are (which of course is a win one lose one team) or if they can they are more than that (a team that can play with the big boys and win).
Let’s not pull punches here. The Cowboys won last week against a team they should have beaten, but it was not pretty. Now the Cowboys roll into the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to take on the New Orleans Saints. That would be the 6-2 New Orleans Saints. The 216 points for and 146 points against New Orleans Saints. Sure the Cowboys have scored a very nice 257 points (2nd only to the Broncos), and have given up 209 points (good for 13th), but let’s be honest, the last few weeks this team hasn’t stopped anyone. It is high time we find out what kind of heart this team has. Are they who we think they are or are they something more, something better.
Getting Demarcus Ware back will be a boon to the paltry pass rush, but this team is missing something. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it just feels like when they hit the field on defense there is a collective gasp from Cowboys fans across the world. If Dallas wants to win this week, the Jets showed them how.
Here is what I gathered from reviewing the Jets win and what I see this team being able to do:
1. Get in Drew Brees’ face. Drew will pick any defense apart if given a chance. To beat Drew Brees you have to get in his face early and often.
2. Run the ball. Simple, right? This team needs to find a run game. Gather the big boys up front, Murray, and Dunbar, and work this out. Keeping Drew off the field will help.
3. Set up play action. I am not sure what the issue is here, but it seems we take so long to do this every game. I realize the run game issues feeds this problem, but screens and pitches can help set it up as well.
4. Play the ball. Interceptions have occurred, but the defensive backfield in recent weeks are playing the receiver and their assigned space, not the ball. Letting the receiver catch the ball and then tackle isn’t working.
5. Cover the flats and underneath plays. The dink and dunk game has been killing us. The coaches need to adjust and contend the underneath better.
5. GET TO DREW BREES. This point is so important that I had to put it twice.
Song of the Week
Every week, before and after the game, I will assign a song to describe the Dallas Cowboys and their current situation. This week the Cowboys need to win and stand alone in first place in the NFC East. With that said, the song of the week is: Godsmack – I Stand Alone.