How Can Rob Ryan Fix the Dallas Cowboys' Secondary?

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How much could he help?

As you know, each week we select a question or two from the Landry Hat readers and ask our panel of esteemed writers and contributors to give us their sagacious opinions.  This article is getting so popular, even Seth Jones couldn’t resist participating this week despite being somewhere in Cambodia scouting a 14 year old who kicks coconuts 45 yards.

Our first question this week is from Ben who actually cheated by asking TWO questions, but we thought his query about the secondary was apt this week, so we answered both.

Ben, San Antonio, Texas: Over the 2 weeks that have passed, we have played bad defense vs QB’S like Rex Grossmen and Matt Moore. What do you think Rob Ryan has to do to fix all the mistakes in the secondary before facing QB’s like Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees if we get to playoffs?

Also vs dolphins, the Cowboys had 11 PENALTIES!!!, how can  we fix that?

This week’s question led to quite a difference of opinion between our writers.  Seth has suggested that the differences should be settled by holding a single-elimination tournament of full-contact chess.  The Landry Hat has instructed its lawyers to determine our liability if such a contest were to occur.  Hopefully our insurance covers it.  We will keep you posted.

Click on the link to read the answers.

Some say he is not living up to the big new contract. What do you think?

Seth Jones: I’m not sure what Rob The Barbarian will do about Aaron Rodgers, but I would imagine that thorough blitzing will be in order. Putting pressure on the quarterback is essential. Also, I would have the corner backs play the receivers up-close and physical while keeping the safeties back in cover 2 zones. Basically, getting to the QB will be important, as it always is. But jamming the receivers and keeping the safeties back to prevent “the big play” will help to disrupt Rodgers and Brees, which will lead to hurried passes and sacks.

As for fixing the penalties, I think that if Garrett publicly executes a player every time he commits a penalty, then eventually the players will start being more focused in that aspect. Let’s just hope that Jason Witten doesn’t get called for holding.

Mark Contreras: First, the bonehead penalties. You fix penalties by not being a bonehead. Physical mistakes are one thing, mental mistakes are a function of not concentrating and letting your exterior surroundings affect your play. Doug Free committing the same penalty THREE times in one game is absolutely unacceptable. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. It is the players we have. Plain and simple.

Second, the secondary issues. I don’t think Rob Ryan is the problem. At all. As a matter of fact, I wrote Sunday that Ryan is bringing pressure to the quarterback quite well, but it is being negated by extremely poor play in the secondary. If our guys could hold on for even 2-3 seconds, it would make a HUGE difference in bringing pressure to the quarterback. The Cowboys would have blown out the Redskins and Dolphins if they had gotten any pressure whatsoever on Grossman or Moore. It was impossible because the secondary was blowing assignments and leaving opposing wide receivers open by 5 yards or more.  The defensive backs have got to start playing with confidence instead of being afraid to make mistakes. The slightest hesitation (and we’re seeing more than slight hesitation from every single one of them) causes massive mistakes. Rob Ryan is not going to switch to a different style of defense over night, nor should he. The return of Jenkins will help (hopefully this week) but more than anything, the “next guys up” just need to stop playing so poorly.

Click on the link to read a conflicting opinion.

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Tags: Aaron Rodgers Alan Ball Brandon Marshall Cowboys Dallas Dallas Cowboys Doug Free Drew Brees Jason Garrett Larry Fitzgerald Matt Moore Orlando Scandrick Ron Ryan Terence Newman

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