What do the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos and Green Bay Packers all have in common? They all use the 3-4 defense and they all have defeated the Dallas Cowboys in the past 16 games, according to ESPN.
The only 3-4 defense the Dallas Cowboys defeated was—drum roll—The rugged Kansas City Chiefs. Sigh. What does Mr. Positive have to say about that? At least the Chiefs took the Cowboys to overtime.
So, are the Cowboys in trouble this Sunday when they play the steaming hot San Diego Chargers? Not really.
It is no secret that the Cowboys struggle against 3-4 schemes, but at least the players are acknowledging that this isn’t going to be a slam dunk.
“It just comes down to us up front identifying who we have to block,” left guard Kyle Kosier said. “They’re going to give us some different fronts. We just have to communicate and block it up.”
I like that attitude. The offensive line, which has given up more sacks than the Chargers’ offensive line, will have to step it up. Blitzing linebackers have to be guarded. Tony Romo must be protected.
Is that all it will take? No.
I will be the first to jump on the “4th Quarter Marion Barber” bandwagon. It is absurd that the Cowboys continue to start Barber when history tells us that he truly is best at the goal line and late in the game. Why even bring him out in the first half? Let the speedy Felix Jones try to break a big run, and hand it off to the young Tashard Choice for the extra few yards.
If the Cowboys run the ball well, and properly, and the offensive line picks up the 3-4 scheme well, then the Dallas Cowboys ought to come away with their first win in December. Without the win, we might as well stick a fork in them.