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Fan questions: How do you stop the Cowboys?

Oct 9, 2013, 10:25 AM EST

Kerrigan-sacks-Romo

This week I got your questions not only from Twitter but also from the Real Redskins Facebook page (go there to Like it) for the first time. Since the Facebook aspect is new we’ll start from there.

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Well, Troy, nothing has been covered in the media because nothing is happening. What many fans don’t seem to realize is that Jackson is on his third strike in the NFL’s substance abuse process. He served suspensions of four games and then one year while he was with the Bucs. His current suspension is indefinite. Jackson was eligible to apply for reinstatement after a year but the NFL is under no obligation to reinstate him or even hear his case. So there is no news and there won’t be until the league decides that he has been out long enough to get the message. A year apparently didn’t do it last time so maybe they figure he needs to sit out longer this time. When something happens, you’ll hear about it. But there is no point in the media “reporting” that nothing is new on a regular basis.

The simple answer is they won’t be able to stop the Cowboys if they play like they did Sunday. But it’s not certain that they will play like that. I went over a lot of the reasons in my post yesterday but the simplest way to look at it is that a week ago Sunday the Dallas offense put up 14 points against a Chargers defense that is ranked 27th. The Cowboys are not exactly a model of consistency and it remains to be seen if they can put up two stellar performances in a row.

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The key against Romo is to mix things up. Last year they brought anywhere from three to seven rushers after him. There will be plenty of blitz packages and times they drop eight back into coverage in either a zone or a single high safety look. It will very by down, distance, game situation and Jim Haslett’s gut feeling.

If I had to pick one factor, I’d say that the secondary woes are due to poor tackling. That issue appears to affect primarily the safeties but that’s only because they usually make more tackle attempts. It’s across the board. I think it’s something that will work its way out, the sooner the better. But to get back to your question, I don’t think the corners are markedly less talented than the safeties or vice versa. The whole secondary just needs to get its act together when it comes to getting the guy with the ball to the ground.

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Sometimes it takes the rest of the media world a while to catch up to what’s being written here so I’m used to that (pardon the humble brag). But the fact of the matter with Griffin is that we just don’t know. It would surprise me if he didn’t continue to improve from week to week. Whether or not he will make a “leap” like Peterson, who went from averaging 97 yards per game in the first half of the season to averaging 165 in the last eight games remains to be seen. The media can’t watch practice so we have no way of knowing how he is doing during the week. We find out during the games just like everyone else. My gut is that we’ll see more steady progress. I don’t see him all of a sudden breaking out this Sunday and playing like he did in Dallas on Thanksgiving. I do think he’ll play better than he did against Oakland and that could be good enough to win.

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It’s hard to tell how much the brace is really affecting Griffin. My guess is that it hampers him some but not nearly as much as many think it does. Remember Griffin wore one his junior year at Baylor and it didn’t affect him much then. He was asked in training camp if he would wear it all year and he said he would. That’s all we have to go on.

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This sounds a lot like a call to “fire Haz, go back to the 4-3″ as a solution to the Redskins’ defensive woes. I don’t know if you were around for the decade of the 90’s and early 00’s when the team went through a parade of defensive coordinators and regular scheme changes. The result was a consistently bad defense that held the team back. The revolving door ended when Gregg Williams arrived in 2004 and they had a top 10 defense three out of his four years. Maybe they can find another Williams, maybe they can’t. Perhaps there is a better option out there than Haslett but there are no sure things. Change for the sake of change rarely yields good results. The same applies to the defensive alignment. Personally, I would not look forward to another two years of acquiring the right personnel for a new alignment and going through the adjustment pains when the existing scheme will work fine if executed properly.

That’s it for today. You don’t have to wait for a call for questions to ask me something; hit me up anytime on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN or on the Real Redskins Facebook page.

  1. rahwayhomey - Oct 9, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    Griffin’s comeback truly has been amazing. People forget the seriousness of his injury which in years past would be a minimum 12 months before he could begin to run full speed, make QB moves inside & out of pocket, and have 100% confidence in his knee. Well he’s well ahead of pace. Each week, physically he has improved. His 85 QB rating is better that 1/2 the QB’s in the NFL, who they had no major surgery, w/ the benefit of pre-season. That’s what’s made this comeback so spectacular. RGIII has shown mid to deep ball accuracy, (AR plz don’t drop another TD), laser arm w/ quick release, and avoiding pass rush better each week. Also plays on an OL w/ really own 1 Top Flight lineman, w/ all others basically journeymen. Credit to RGIII’s leadership, positive attitude & hard miles he’s put in to comeback. Doesn’t guarantee victory, but we should all be so proud.

  2. Troy - Oct 10, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    Santana Moss usually has big games against Dallas, lets see if he has a few more left in him since somebody other than Garçon has to step up at the receiving position.

  3. hailyeah1 - Oct 10, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    Its simple ,we will keep the game close and Tony ” I Choke ” Romo strikes again.
    Not GM Jerry’s reported 40 year old brain ,something about secret sauce or something special about Romo’s throwing motion will save Dallas in the game !
    Yeah !! Romo keep throwing the ball to us and we’ll keep sending you “thank you” notes HA!HA!

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