News: PackersNews: Dallas Cowboys scouting report: Defense still packs heat at pass rush

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  1. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl U.N.I.T.Y Staff Member

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    By Pete • November 2, 2010

    Following is a scouting report on the 1-6 Dallas Cowboys, based on interviews with several scouts and coaches who have studied them recently:

    Running game

    The Cowboys have been a major disappointment in many ways, and running the ball is as good a place to start as any. The Cowboys rank No. 31 in the NFL in rushing yards per game and No. 26 in yards per carry. Their backfield tandem should be good — Marion Barber is 27, which is before the decline starts for most NFL backs, and Felix Jones is 23 — but they’re not picking up anything on their own.

    Passing game

    Backup Jon Kitna was a stationary target early in his career, so that’s only worse now that he’s 38. He has a decent and relatively accurate throwing arm, but he’s not a playmaker. He looked fine against Jacksonville last week in his first start of the season, and though he threw four interceptions, three were on balls that caromed off a receiver. But it was a somewhat typical game for him: He completed plenty of passes (34-for-49) and threw for big yards (379), but Dallas was down 28-3 heading into the fourth quarter in a 35-17 blowout loss. To be fair, even with Romo, the Cowboys had been putting up big stats but few points.

    Running defense

    For all of Wade Phillips’ shortcomings as a head coach, he’s a respected defensive coordinator, so Dallas’ collapse on defense is the biggest surprise of its season. The Cowboys finished last season with the No. 4 rushing defense and No. 2 scoring defense but have dropped to Nos. 24 and 27, respectively, this year. Last week, Jacksonville’s Maurice Jones-Drew pounded for 135 yards and a 5.-0-yard average.

    Passing defense

    The most ****ing statistic of a bad year? Jacksonville quarterback David Garrard hitting the Cowboys last week for four touchdown passes and an astronomical passer rating — 157.8 points, just shy of the 158.3-point maximum. Going into the game Garrard was the No. 19-rated passer in the league (84.7 points). Though the Cowboys rank No. 9 in the NFL in sacks percentage, the pass rush hasn’t been lacking.

    Special teams

    Bryant is a big-time threat returning punts and has taken back two of his 12 returns for touchdowns. Rookie kickoff returner Akwasi Owusu-Ansah (21.7-yard average) hasn’t been as dynamic as his reported 40 time at his Pro Day workout (4.32 seconds) would suggest. Punter Matt McBriar has been great with hang time and directional kicking — opponents have returned only 11 of his 27 punts, and his 40.5-yard net average ranks fourth in the NFL.

    Read more details: http://packersnews.greenbaypressgaz...reports-Defense-still-packs-heat-at-pass-rush

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