With the Dallas Cowboys at St. Louis Rams on the early game slate this Sunday, here’s a bevy of links to get you ready for this match up of 1-1 teams.
Injuries to Durant, McClain shake up the linebacker position – DFW Star Telegram
The injury bug attacking the team’s linebacking corps has at least stopped destroying seasons (Sean Lee) and careers (DeVonte Holloman), but that is small consolation for rookie Anthony Hitchens, as the bug is now attacking groins. Rolando McClain looks to miss Week 3 with a groin injury, and his primary backup Justin Durant is still recovering from a groin injury he sustained in Week 1.
Hitchens, likely tabbed to start at the Mike this week in St. Louis, has to be feeling a little like that anonymous USS Enterprise crew member who beams down to the alien planet with Kirk and Spock and McCoy. There’s no bulls-eye on your groin, rook. You’re going to make it to next week’s episode. Keep telling yourself that.
Todd Archer speaks to safety Barry Church about why the Cowboys have had problems containing tight ends, who have gashed the Cowboys defense so far this year for nearly 200 yards and three touchdowns. Church thinks the problem is zone coverage. I think the problem is the linebackers and the safeties – an area of the defense that just got weaker with McClain’s injury.
Film Room: Jared Cook A Dynamic TE For The Rams – dallascowboys.com
Speaking of tight ends, former NFL scout and current dallascowboys.com scribe Bryan Broaddus breaks down three plays from Weeks 1 and 2 featuring St. Louis Rams TE Jared Cook. Apparently, Cook is big, he’s fast, and he’s versitile. When he’s isolated on a linebacker he’s an athletic mismatch, and when he’s matched up on a corner he’s a physical mismatch. The Rams line him up all over the offensive formation, and young quarterback.
Broaddus also breaks down the play of rookie 3-tech tackle Aaron Donald, once coveted by a Cowboys team desperate to bolster the defensive line in this year’s draft. In this short film session, Broaddus highlights Donald’s quickness and burst, as evidenced by him dropping Adrian Peterson in the backfield multiple times. At the Senior Bowl before the draft, only one guard had any luck against this guy: Zack Martin. Should be a fun matchup to watch.
Fisher: Guys Are Going To Have To Make Plays – stlouisrams.com
Just under five minutes of video here – Rams head coach Jeff Fisher talking about the challenges his defense will face in trying to contain DeMarco Murray, Tony Romo and Dez Bryant. Murray: “You read and react, and he’s not there. He’s somewhere else.” Romo: “He’s still making all the throws.” Bryant: “Physical, he’s got the run-after-catch skills, and he’s got a big catch radius.”
Xs and Os – 3 Things From Week 2 To Examine – Bob’s Blog, Live From Lewisville
This is for nerds only, as Bob Sturm breaks down three plays from the Cowboys Week 2 mauling of the Tennessee Titans. It’s just so cool, though, seeing how the fake to the fullback caused a half-second delay in the defenders’ reaction, and the Cowboys blockers used that “time” to get position on their men and spring DeMarco Murray for a big gain. This is the kind of stuff that Rams defenders are watching, and wondering how they’re going to stop.
Cowboys Game Preview: What Is The Rams’ Biggest Weakness? – The Landry Hat
In case you missed it, our site’s editor questions the editor of the Rams’ site. Spoiler alert: The Rams’ biggest weakness on defense plays well into the Cowboys’ biggest strength on offense.
Dallas Cowboys vs. St. Louis Rams: Spread Analysis And Pick Prediction – Bleacher Report
The Vegas odds have this as a pick ‘em game, and the computer says the Rams will win 32-21 at home. For all the reasons why, click on the link.