Dallas Cowboys: Heavy Press Man Coverage
As a passer Jalen hurts displays enough arm strength and touch to complete difficult passes, however, his slower mental processing, slow release, and ball velocity generally prevent him from completing passes in tight windows. (I say this knowing his first passing touchdown was on a back shoulder Fade to Alshon Jeffery)
Hurts is currently very first read dependent, if his receiver is disrupted on his release and throughout his route stem Hurts struggles to be accurate with his passes. If the defender is in the right position, they can make a play on the ball. Two passes should have been intercepted in the game against New Orleans because of this.
Against Arizona, he understood how to attack DB Leverage resulting in several defensive holding and pass interference penalties. Fortunately for the Cowboys, their defensive backfield is currently more athletic and should be able to deal with the speed of wide receivers Jalen Reagor, Quez Watkins, and Greg Ward.
These receivers struggle to release against press coverage because they don’t possess the body control and strength to fight off jams at the line of scrimmage. This is also why Alshon Jeffrey has been an important piece for that scoring offense.
With man coverage, you are more prone to giving up separation against faster receivers, but if the defensive line is able to get Jalen Hurts forcing him to bail out of the pocket the defensive secondary likely has a favorable advantage. This does lead me to my next point.
Be creative with Jourdan Lewis
Jourdan Lewis’s career up to this point has been a mixed bag. He displays the physicality needed for a press heavy defensive scheme, however, he doesn’t display the length or the top-end speed to be a shutdown cornerback in the slot or the outside.
That said, there are two things he seems to be good at: tackling and covering near the line of scrimmage. You could make a serious argument for him to become a regular box safety for the team as these have been the most consistent parts of his game thus far.
As we know, Jalen Hurts is different than Carson Wentz. Hurts poses a bigger threat scrambling and on designed runs than Wentz. The Saints would struggle to contain Hurts because they wouldn’t send enough pressure allowing hurts to escape through the middle of the pocket. When they did send multiple linebackers to blitz no one was able to tackle Hertz moving outside.
Enter Jourdan Lewis, Lewis displays the comparable speed to chase down Jalen Hurts near the line of scrimmage. Instead of having either linebacker try to spy Hurts, unsuccessfully might I add, Lewis would be a better matchup. In addition, DC Mike Nolan could send Lewis for a blitz from either side of the line of scrimmage forcing the defensive line to crash towards the middle effectively preventing Hurts from scrambling anywhere.
It is hard to prepare for a mobile quarterback because of how much they can impact the game, however, the Eagles rookie signal-caller hasn’t made a huge jump from his time in Norman, which should give the Cowboys an advantage in the passing game. Now that running game…