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

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4.  Will Javhid Best be the first back to average more than 3 yards a carry?

Can he force an 8th man into the box?

Rob Ryan’s decision to run-blitz frequently on 1st and 2nd down has been integral to the success of the defense. None of the starting RB’s they have faced have averaged more than 3 yards a carry. All things being equal, limiting the opponent to less than 3 yards a carry translates into frequent 3 and long situations. The more yards needed on third down, the easier it is to get the defense off the field.

The defense’s success against the running game should continue this week. The front 7 has been successful this year against better O-Lines and better RB’s. The key this week will be stopping Best with the front 7. They can not afford to keep 8 men in the box because they will need to constantly double-team Johnson.

I will be watching to see whether the Lions even attempt a serious commitment to the running game. If they do, I will be watching to see if the Cowboys can stop the run without using 8 men in the box.

 

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