Know Your Enemy – Dallas

Posted: October 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 19 Comments »

Cowboys suck.

Okay, now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about Dallas.

Dallas 3-3

Wins:  WAS, STL, SF

Losses:  NYJ, NE, DET

OFF – 6th in yards (4th passing, 12th rushing), 10th in scoring

DEF – 7th in yards (14th in passing, 1st vs the run), 11th in scoring



Dallas is at its best when they can run the ball.  In 3 losses, the leading rusher had less than 60 yards for them.  In 2 of 3 wins, the leading rusher was over 100.

Tony Romo is still the key for the team.  His overall numbers are good, but Romo is living up to his reputation for being inconsistent this year.  He was disastrously bad in the 2nd half of the Lions game, as the Boys blew a 27-3 lead and lost.  Romo threw a terrible pick late in the Jets game that set them up to win.  Other times Romo looks terrific.

WRs Miles Austin and Dez Bryant are big, fast, and talented.  Backups Laurent Robinson and Kevin Ogletree also have size and speed.  TE Jason Witten leads the team in catches.  He continues to punish the Eagles for not drafting him in 2003 (LJ Smith????).

RB Felix Jones missed last week and hasn’t been full speed this year.  He’s only got 255 yards all year long.  Rookie DeMarco Murray ran for 253 yards last week.  Great game, but it was against a Rams defense that has been struggling mightily.  Murray is odd.  Sort of tall, but a speed guy.  The Eagles haven’t had a player quite like him that I can think of.  I’ll get more into how the Eagles need to stop him in the actual Game Preview.

The Boys decided to rebuild their O-line this year.  Doug Free is back at LT.  After that, it is a mixed bag.  Kyle Kosier is the RG.  David Arkin was the LG, but Montrae Holland replaced him last week.  Young Phil Costa is the new C.  He’s struggled.  Rookie Tyron Smith is the RT and has the most talent of anyone up front.  The OL is no longer huge or overpowering.  Like the Eagles, Dallas decided to add athletic guys.  The results for them haven’t been as good as for us.  The run blocking hasn’t been great and pass protection has been inconsistent.


Rob Ryan is the new Def Coordinator.  Dallas still runs the 3-4.  They still like to blitz.  Ryan runs a more complex scheme.  He was an assistant with the Pats for several years and was heavily influenced by Bill Belichick and his multiple looks.

NT Jay Ratliff is the key guy up front.  He’s undersized, but quick and disruptive.  The DEs are solid, but no one is special.

The LBs are a different story.  DeMarcus Ware is arguably the best defensive player in the league.  He is explosive and powerful.  Great LB.  Anthony Spencer is the other OLB.  He’s got 3 sacks on the year.  He isn’t special like Ware, but is fast and has a good motor.  Sean Lee has emerged this year as a force at ILB.  He leads the team in tackles, TFLs, INTs, and fumble recoveries.  He’s second in pass breakups.  Lee is instinctive and athletic.  Good run defender and cover LB.

The secondary is a bunch of familiar names (CBs Mike Jenkins, Terrence Newman, Orlando Scandrick, Alan Ball).  None of them are playing great.  Scandrick might be the best cover guy at this point.  The Safeties are Abram Elam and Gerald Sensabaugh.  They are 2nd and 3rd on the team in tackles.  Elam has 3 TFLs and will play in the box a lot.

Dallas is playing terrific run defense this year, but part of that is the fact they’ve faced some poor OLs so far.  I’m really interested to see if Dallas is as good as advertised.


P Matt McBriar averages 49.8 per punt and continues to kick at a high level.

Dan Bailey is the PK and he’s 17 for 18 this year.  He’s brought stability to a troubled spot.

Dwayne Harris is the primary RS.  He has yet to really get going.  Dez Bryant is a dynamic RS when they use him, but he’s done that very little this year.


Depth Chart

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For my column I wrote about Jeremy Maclin.  Has he become the Eagles best WR?

* * * * *

I know I haven’t answered everyone’s questions.  I’m going to put up a Q&A post soon.  Been lots of stuff to cover.

19 Comments on “Know Your Enemy – Dallas”

  1. 1 Anonymous said at 1:03 PM on October 26th, 2011:

    I hate evening games just before or after a bye, I’ll be waiting ’til Monday for some football and it’ll be a repeat!

  2. 2 Tyler Phillips said at 1:51 PM on October 26th, 2011:

    Anyone else think that Ratliff being a smaller DT might benefit Kelce? not saying it does but just a matchup that could work out in our favor.

  3. 3 Steve H said at 1:55 PM on October 26th, 2011:

    I think so, Kelce is a more athletic guy than Jackson so its more of a strength on strength kind of thing rather than Ratliff’s strength on Jackson’s weakness. I also think Ratliff isn’t as disruptive as he was a few years ago, thats just from what I’ve seen in a few games though.

  4. 4 Anonymous said at 2:18 PM on October 26th, 2011:

    I was thinking that’s going to be an interesting matchup too. Was going to ask Tommy if he could think of any matchup btwn such athletic smaller NT and C b4. Athletes in the middle of the line.

  5. 5 Steve H said at 1:54 PM on October 26th, 2011:

    Dallas is a dangerous team despite their 3-3 record. I think this is a good challenge for us to see if we’re really back in it or if we’re still a ways away from being a contender.

  6. 6 Benjamin Davis said at 2:56 PM on October 26th, 2011:

    David Arkin hasn’t played this year. Montrae Holland replaced Bill Nagy because the latter went on IR. Dwayne Harris was cut a couple of weeks ago and signed to the practice squad.

    “Dallas is at its best when they can run the ball. In 3 losses, the leading rusher had less than 60 yards for them. In 2 of 3 wins, the leading rusher was over 100.”

    I’m not sure what this means; maybe you’re confusing causation/correlation here? Dallas doesn’t run the ball well (last week excepted), and runs under Garrett to sustain leads. The only loss where they had a substantial lead was against Detroit, and that loss had much more to do with interceptions returned for touchdowns than running the football effectively.

    Football Outsiders’ DVOA:

    Passing Offense 35.6% (8th)
    Rushing Offense -15.7% (30th)

    NY/A (net yards per attempt) – Dallas is 8th at 7.7 (league average is 6.4)

    Dallas, like pretty much every good offense, is all about passing the football.

  7. 7 Anonymous said at 3:31 PM on October 26th, 2011:


    Before your time, but the Eagles had a few tall, fast HBs.

    The most disappointing was 6’3, 210 lb consensus All American (and college HOFer) Leroy Keyes from Purdue — the 3rd pick overall in the ’69 draft. That was the year the Bills selected OJ Simpson first.

    The Eagles — as only the Eagles could — started the 1968 season 0-11. With 3 games to go, they were leading in the race to draft Simpson with Joe (must go) Kuharich as head coach.

    Then, the Eagles beat Detroit and New Orleans (both were 4 win teams), before losing to the Vikings in last game to finish 2-12. The Bills meanwhile finished 1-12-1 . . . secured the rights to Simpson.

    Adding insult to the proverbial injury, the Falcons also finished 2-12 and were awarded the 2nd overall pick (George Kunz – G, Notre Dame).

    That 1969 draft had some great players:

    – 4th choice overall, the Steelers took HOF DT Joe Greene.
    – 5th overall, the Bengals chose QB Greg Cook — who, but for a torn rotator-cuff, would have been an HOFer (according to his position coach Bill Walsh).
    -7th overall, the 49ers take TE Ted Kwalik from Penn State (future all pro)
    -11th overall, the Dolphins draft DE Bill Stanfill (future all pro)
    -14th overall, the Rams selected DE Fred Dryer (all pro)
    -16th overall, the 49ers get WR Gene Washington (all pro)
    -19th overall, the Cards take HOF CB Roger Wehrli
    -20th overall, the Browns draft HB Ron Johnson (all pro w/ the Giants)
    -23rd overall, the Chiefs select CB Jim Marsalis (all pro)
    -24th overall, the Cowboys choose Calvin Hill.

    Other notables:

    Round 2:
    -Bengals – Bill Bergey MLB (all pro)
    -Colts – Ted Hendricks OLB (HOF)
    -Vikings – Ed White G (all pro)
    -Chiefs – Ed Podolak HB (delivered the greatest single all-around playoff performance by a running back — running, receiving, and returning punts and kickoffs — against the Dolphins in the ’71 overtime playoff game on Christmas Eve . . . the longest NFL playoff game ever. HOFer Jan Stenerud missed two FGs under 30 yards in OT to keep the Dolphins in the game. The greatest game I’ve ever seen.)

    Round 3:
    -Dolphins – RB Mercury Morris
    -EAGLES – BILL BRADLEY, safety / punter

    Round 4:
    -EAGLES – G Bob Kuchenberg (yes, THAT Bob Kuchenberg, whom the Eagles tried to make into a DL but cut . . . and then watched him become, some say, the best of the great early ’70s Dolphin OLs. Kuchenberg played until 1984, making 2 All Pro Teams, 6 Pro Bowls, and winning 2 SBs)
    -Falcons – TE Jim Mitchell
    -Oilers – HOF WR Charlie Joiner
    -Oilers – K Roy Gerela (all pro)
    -Chiefs – C Jack Rudney (all pro)

    In Round 5, the Colts drafted DT KING DUNLAP.

    Other All Pros from that draft:
    -DE L.C. Greenwood – Steelers
    -RB Larry Brown – Redskins
    -QB James Harris – Bills
    -CB Ken Riley – Bengals
    -C Jeff Van Note – Falcons

    Looking back, that was a draft full of great players. The Steelers got the cornerstone for their dynasty that year in Joe Greene — one pick after the Birds chose Leroy Keyes. Ouch!

  8. 8 Anonymous said at 4:27 PM on October 26th, 2011:

    It’s Dallas week, buddy, not summer ’69!

  9. 9 Anonymous said at 5:23 PM on October 26th, 2011:

    Summer of ’69 . . . you should have been there.

  10. 10 Anders Jensen said at 4:25 PM on October 26th, 2011:

    I really hope this is the game where the offense and defense plays a full game. If the offense play to its potential, we should put up around 35 points and the defense should be able to hold the Dallas offense under 20points

  11. 11 Mac said at 4:46 PM on October 26th, 2011:

    off topic… just read that Quintin Demps got a job again with the Texans. Weird.

  12. 12 Mac said at 4:50 PM on October 26th, 2011:

    The Eagles defense is built for turnovers (as I see it). We should be able to pressure Romo playing behind a suspect o-line, and our “elite” CBs should have a field day. All of that is a moot point though if we can’t stop the run. To me, this looks like a game where Juan needs to commit to stopping the run and the rest will work itself out.

    Another note for one of my favorite players; Asante Samuel. You wanna flap your gums to the media? Fine. Put 6 points on the board and use your lips to taunt the Cowgirls this week too. It’s time to put up some numbers man.

  13. 13 Anonymous said at 6:15 PM on October 26th, 2011:

    Also off topic, Asante is whining again. In the lead up to a big game the veteran can’t control his ego and shut up. Sheesh.

  14. 14 Anonymous said at 8:14 PM on October 26th, 2011:

    Assante Samuel was just being honest. I doubt it will affect his performance negatively.

  15. 15 Steve H said at 9:35 PM on October 26th, 2011:

    He’s not playing that well this year anyhow, hopefully he decides to bring his A game to this one though.

  16. 16 Alex Karklins said at 9:46 PM on October 26th, 2011:

    This is the first time the Eagles will face Dez Bryant, too. Watching him, I get bad flashbacks of Giants-era Plaxico. Will it be mostly Nnamdi covering him? He usually lines up on the left, correct?

  17. 17 Anonymous said at 2:12 AM on October 27th, 2011:

    No, when he is not being moved around, Nnamdi lines up at RCB.

  18. 18 Deshawn Bentley said at 7:25 AM on October 27th, 2011:

    What matters is that the Eagles have limited the opposing teams #1 WR to an average of 41 yards a game…The fewest yards given up compared to any other team.

  19. 19 Alex Karklins said at 11:14 AM on October 27th, 2011:

    Sorry, I meant Bryant usually lines up on the offensive left, meaning Nnamdi is on the defensive right, correct?