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DC.COM: Broaddus: Upon Further Review: Checking Out Play Of Dez, Free, Jenkins
My thoughts from the film room at Valley Ranch after the Cowboys victory over the Eagles:
ēIt has now become more common place to speak about what Dez Bryant has meant to this offense these last several weeks. In my scoutís eye, Bryant is putting together the type of consistent season similar to what we are seeing with Anthony Spencer on defense. The struggles of frustration that we have seen in games gone by when things have not gone his way has been replaced with a player that works just as hard whether the ball is coming in his direction or not. Itís better routes and an understanding of what his quarterback expects from him. When the team is in a goal-to-goal situation against a soft corner and Romo can give him a look or a sign and he adjust his route to snatch the ball out of the air and fight his way in the end zone says a lot about his growth as a trusted receiver. For Bryant is not just one or two plays a game but he is now managing to put series together with multiple plays in them. On the drive I spoke of where he caught the sight adjust from Romo, he has a 35 yard reception on a 3rd and 2 where he and Romo saw no safety help in the middle of the field and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in press coverage. Instead of taking an inside break, Bryant goes hard to the outside beating Rodgers-Cromartie off the snap. Romo in the pocket is able to pump the ball but he sees Bryant has separation up the field and put the ball in the perfect spot over the top of the corner but in a position where Bryant can make the catch and take the blow from safety Kurt Coleman who was late arriving on the play. Bryant was able to make the catch, secure the ball putting the offense on the Eagles side of the field, two plays later, Romo finds Jason Witten that takes the ball inside the Eagles five yard line which led to the go ahead score.
ēJason Garrett in his post-game news conference, spoke of how Doug Free just had to find a way to battle through the troubles that he was going through in the first half of the game Sunday night. When Free is bad, he is usually bad with his technique and in this case, he was really bad. There were too many times that instead of punching the rusher with his hands, he was catching his man which is something that he canít do because he doesnít have enough power in his lower body to sit down on his man unless he can stop his charge. Free can put himself into position with his feet and his set but when he doesnít extend on his man, he has no shot at all. When the rusher gets into his body, he gets much too high and off balance. The first sack he gave up, his hands went wide, Brandon Graham got into his chest and pulled him forward, then getting around him. Set after set, Free couldnít get his hands in the right spot. When he was in position he was able to fight his way through the play until the ball was thrown. In the second half, the one thing that changed for him was he was getting on the rusher quicker not allowing them to have a running start at him thus making him catch the block. There were still times where he missed with his hands but by taking a more aggressive approach, he was able to have some better plays. I do not believe that Doug Free will ever be a really strong tackle in this league so if he technique is bad, he is going to have problems and last night was one of those nights.
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