The Dallas Cowboys are facing a tough test this Sunday against the Panthers. Specifically, the RPO by Cam Newton and Christian McCaffery.
The Dallas Cowboys will begin there season against one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL. Led by Cam Newton this Carolina Panther offense has the ability to control a game using their RPO scheme. With the running and pass catching abilities of the second year running back Christian McCaffery who is now the lead running back and the addition of Torrey Smith and his 4.3 speed to this offense it can be explosive.
Now if you don’t understand what RPO means, here is a quick breakdown. This run-pass option scheme gives the quarterback the ability to change the play after the snap of the ball depending on what he sees and how the defense plays off of the snap of the ball. You also add another dimension to this offense with Newton’s ability to run the ball.
This offense will challenge this team in many ways. Newton’s size at 6’5 and 245 pounds makes him a handful to bring down in the passing game and when he becomes a runner. Something he is very good at especially in the red zone with 54 total rushing touchdowns in his career. This will challenge Cowboys pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence and company.
The dynamic running back McCaffery showed during his rookie season that he is dangerous as a runner and a pass-catcher coming out of the backfield. Racking up a total of 1,102 total yards and eight touchdowns.
Now that he is the lead back look for him to be more confident. When he and Newton are able to give the look that either one can run during the handoff the Cowboys need to make sure they play their assignments and not get caught looking in the backfield. If the Cowboys linebackers can play sound football and stick with their assignments they will be just fine.
This is where Torrey Smith and his 4.3 speed come into play. His ability to take the top off the defense while team focus on this hand-off sequence between Newton and McCaffery gives the Panthers something they have been missing since the departure of Ted Ginn.
The Cowboy safeties will need to make sure they know where Smith is on the field at all times. If he is able to get behind the defense Newton has a strong enough arm to get it to him. Look for the Cowboys to have a safety on his side of the field and force the Panthers to dink and dunk in the passing game.
It’s going to be a great game and if the Cowboys defense can keep these playmakers in front of them they have a great chance to win this game.
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