Landry Hat Writer Featured on The Cowboys Imperial Report

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The Emperor:        All right, now let’s switch things up and go to our resident scout here on Cowboys Imperial Report, one of the most-trusted film watchers in the Cowboys underground media. You know who I’m talking about. It’s Couchscout. How are you doing, Couch?

Couchscout:        I’m going good. How are you?

TE:        Wasn’t it great to get that win; to just go up there in New York and just take that. Everybody said, “Oh, the champs are 8-0 in the past 8 meetings. The Cowboys can’t do it.” And we did it. Wasn’t that nice?

CS:        It was awesome. I loved it. I loved watching that, every second of it.

TE:        Yes, you especially loved seeing Kevin Ogletree, didn’t you?

CS:        There was a little bit of indication there. I’ll say that.

TE:        Yeah, I saw it on your Twitter (@thecouchscout). Let me ask you something: why was Kevin Ogletree so open?

CS:        You know, *chuckles* I didn’t get to watch the film as quickly as I usually do. I had some hang-ups this week with some different things. And so by the time I got to watching film, there were already people — you know, Broaddus and some people on the Zone and some people at BloggingTheBoys and, you know, from all these different places talking about how it was because they were shading the safeties towards Bryant and Austin. And so I get to watching the film and, sure enough, they’re running, the Cowboys, repeatedly get into this formation where they put Bryant and Austin on one side and then in the slot on the other side is Witten and then on the outside is Ogletree. So, Witten and Ogletree on one side and Bryant and Austin on the other side. So you think, “Okay, they’re going to roll the coverage over there to Bryant and Austin and take their chances with an injured Witten and Ogletree who hasn’t done anything.” That’s not what happened at all. The Giants just consistently played straight-up defense. We’re going to line up with five guys and cover the five receivers you have. And we’re going to rush four and have two deep safeties to take away any deep throws. So there is no reason at all that Kevin Ogletree was open every single play except that Kevin Ogletree got open every play. And a little bit of some of the Giants corners acted like they had never seen a slant route in their life, because it was the same thing over and over again. The Cowboys just ran slant to Ogletree and Witten ran off with the linebacker that was covering him in the slot. And it was just open repeatedly. It was almost retarded.

TE:        It sounds like Kevin Ogletree was listening to Jimmy Robinson then.

CS:        Yeah, I mean, it sounds like Kevin Ogletree has been listening to everybody that he should have been listening to all season long, or his whole career, if you want to look at it that way.

TE:        Yeah. Well, now that Kevin Ogletree has been listening to people, can you identify something that he does so well? Is there a particular route that he runs well or technique that he uses?

CS:        I wouldn’t say there’s a particular route that he runs well. I would say he runs all the routes well. And the fact is he’s always run all the routes well. Whenever you would listen to scouts and media, anybody who followed the Cowboys and reports on the Cowboys, they all use the same word to describe Ogletree and they have since his freshman year and his rookie year and it’s “smooth.” The guy is smooth. He gets in and out of his breaks without losing almost any speed. He explodes out of his break and creates separation. He’s just never known where to line up or what to run every single time he was out on the field. And this season, you know, so far, he seems to do that. So he’s got a good shot at — you know, in the preseason. He’s got a good shot at replicating Robinson’s numbers. I really think he does.

TE:        We’re talking with Couchscout here on The Imperial Report. How do you envision the Cowboys using Ogletree in the future since he knows all the routes?

CS:        I kind of envision it the same way that they used him in the Giants game. Because if you think about it, if the Cowboys are going to put Bryant and Austin together on one side and Witten and Ogletree on the other side, are you going to — let’s say Witten is fully healthy and the Ogletree is the Ogletree of now that knows what to do — are you going to shade your safeties over to Bryant and Austin and really take your chances with a healthy Witten and Ogletree doing what he’s doing? Now that seems kind of silly to me. Are you going to shade your safeties over to the other side and take your chances with Austin and Bryant? That seems every sillier. I think what you’re going to see this season is a whole lot of defenses trying really hard to just play the Cowboys straight up. We’re going to line up. We’re going to try to cover your receivers 1-on-1 the best we can with safety help over the top and hope we can get pressure with four and throw in some surprise blitzes and zone blitzes. So I think you’re going to see a lot of the same thing, a lot of slants to Ogletree, deep curls to Austin, dig routes to Bryant, Witten doing his thing that he’s been doing all game long — I get the feeling it’s going to be real similar because I can’t even in my head come up with a defense that would really be effective against this offense with the offense is firing on all cylinders.

TE:        You make it sound a lot like Green Bay’s offense in 2011.

CS:        It’s eeriely similar.

TE:        What I would try to do to stop us is I would play us straight-up and then I would — yeah, like you said — zone blitzes and just try to get to Romo to disrupt him and that’s it. Because, yeah, I don’t know how you would solve the shading safeties problem, the rolling coverage — it’s a bad case of pick your poison. It’s like do you want hemlock or strychnine?

TE:        With play like what you saw in Week 1 —  I remember in preseason you talked about Harris and Beasley, they might take some snaps away from Kevin Ogletree. Well, with play like what we saw in Week 1, is that going to happen? Will they ever see the field on offense?

CS:        Well, I mean, it’s clear that they will. Beasley did see the field a few snaps Wednesday night. So there’s going to be some of that for sure. And I still think that they’ll have some special packages for certain plays with those guys. If I’m Jason Garrett, I’m just itching to just get the ball to Dwayne Harris and in the open field. I want to line him up in the slot and throw a little bubble screen. Or line him outside and run a flip screen into the inside. I’m dying to do that if I’m Jason Garrett. And in the same way I’m dying to line up Beasley in the slot and watch him abuse some slot corner because he’s so much quicker and can get down the seam and get you one of those 25-yard chunk plays down the seam. I got to imagine they’ll still use them, but Ogletree is making a real good case to not ever come off the field.

TE:        Yes, that’s why Kristie has just now dubbed him “Smooth.” She says that should be his new nickname.

CS:        That’s very apt. I like that.

TE:        One last question and we’ll get to the callers. Because offensive line, that’s also one of your specialties, how much can we count on Ryan Cook?

CS:        I was impressed with Ryan Cook. I really was. Like I said in the post I did earlier on in the week, he’s not going to dig out a 3-4 nose tackle and just dig him out of his spot and move him in a straight iso-lead run. For one, he’s too tall and he doesn’t really have the pure raw strength that Phil Costa has. So he’s not going to do that, but he’s also not going to get pushed back into Romo’s lap as often as Costa. I’m sure he will. He did on the one interception Romo threw. Cook was just about to get back into Romo. But he’s not going to do it often. So it’s kind of a double-edged sword and then on top of that, I would think the Cowboys would see more potential in Costa. He still has a shot. It’s not like I’m saying he’s a good player or he’s ready right now. But with what he can do in the running game, from a coaching perspective, you really want to try to develop him as a pass protector. Because if you can turn him into an average pass protecter, he can really move people in the running game. So I got to think Costa would start when he gets healthy. That’s just my gut feeling about it. But Cook is — you love him as a backup center. You love him as a backup guard. And he is serviceable as a backup right tackle. I mean, I think it was a big time win for the scouting department to get him.

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