Cowboys Key To Victory: Abandon The Running Game

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Dez Bryant vs. Any Chargers Corner On The Roster

Bryant’s offensive understanding and route running has caught up to his athletic acumen, to the point that he has redefined the term “wide open” to include almost any one-on-one matchup – certainly any the Chargers can offer.


Sep 22, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant (88) reacts on the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the St. Louis Rams at AT

Kansas City’s Brandon Flowers, an excellent cover corner, went one-on-one with Bryant in Week 2 and was gashed for 9 catches and 141 yards – it would have been 220 yards if not for that bizarre fourth quarter drop where Bryant was five yards behind the defense and the ball bounced off both his hands.

The point is, the Chargers don’t have anyone on their roster within sniffing distance of Flowers’ ability. They can’t even consider covering Bryant one-on-one. If they do, he’ll destroy them. If they don’t, look for tight ends Jason Witten, Gavin Escobar and James Hannah to exploit the area of the field where the Chargers safeties should be. The way he affects defenses, a wide receiver like Bryant can make a rookie tight end like Escobar a fantasy owner’s dream.

All that said, the Cowboys could score 30 points and lose this game. What do we really know about this 2013 version of the Dallas D? They got repeatedly torched by Eli Manning and the big play in Week 1; they held Captain Checkdown Alex Smith and the Chiefs to 17 points in Week 2; then last week they dominated a Rams team that scored all of 11 points at home on Thursday against the 49ers, who entered the night giving up 28 points per game.

But the Chargers offense is no joke, and this game will be a great test for a defense that appears to have improved each week. At this point we don’t know if that improvement reflects a promising unit gaining confidence in a new scheme, or the deteriorating quality of the opponents they’ve played. Could be either – we just don’t know.

This San Diego team represents a seasonal mile marker. This week, we get some clarity. If it turns into a shoot out, this game is a coin flip. But if the Dallas D can continue to get pressure rushing four and dropping seven, look for the ‘Boys to put together a three-score blowout by going to the air early and often.

And Demarco Murray can run all he wants in the fourth quarter.

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