Cowboys vs. Redskins Preview: 5 Things to Watch For on Defense

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4. How will Terence Newman play?

Is he ready?

Given the release of Bryan McCann this week, the Cowboy’s braintrust must believe that Newman can be effective in his return and stay healthy. (McCann, although ineligible for the practice squad, has NOT been claimed off waivers yet). When Newman is healthy, he is capable of being a very good, although not elite, corner. If he is less than 100%, he can become, as we all witnessed in last year, a liability in passing game.

Newman is scheduled to make big money this year and next; he will have a difficult time living up to the contract. I worry about him trying too hard to prove that he is worth that kinda cash. I will be watching to see if he plays so aggressively that he gets reckless. Will he get burned trying to make a pick? I also worry about him being rusty and playing so tentative that he repeatedly gives up short completions.

 4.a. Will Newman shadow Moss?

If you are a Cowboys fan, you necessarily dread the name Moss. Both Randy and Santana have had some big games against the Cowboys. If my memory serves me correctly, Newman successfully shadowed the Washington Moss in at least one game after the time when Moss scored two late TD’s to snatch an undeserving victory. Newman has occasionally, although not frequently, shadowed individual receivers in past; he has usually been effective at it. I will be watching to see how Ryan defends Moss.

4.b. Who will be the 3rd corner?

With Newman back, Jenkins expected to go, but Scandrick out, it will be interesting to see whether Ball or Walker comes in when the Skins line up with 3 WR’s. Prior to last week, Ball was certainly ahead of Walker on the depth chart, but he got picked on a bit by Alex Smith.

Regardless of who comes in as the 3rd CB, I will be watching to see who plays in the slot. Playing the slot is usually more difficult than out wide. Will they trust Ball or Walker to play there, or will they have Newman or Jenkins slide inside?

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