Cowboys LB’s vs Ravens Run – Week 13
The Dallas Cowboys are blessed to have two very young yet very good linebackers, accompanied by a very good veteran. The youngsters Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch have been great all-around linebackers and veteran Sean Lee never misses a beat.
The problem with this group is remaining healthy. Lee just played his first full season, and Vander Esch missed seven games in 2019. Then there is Smith who missed his entire rookie season because of nerve damage in his knee.
When healthy they are all great players, and I’m going to assume that they will enter Week 13 injury-free. Line that up against the most dynamic offense in the NFL from 2019. More specifically, the team that leads the next best team in rushing yards by a whopping 991 yards.
The Baltimore Ravens had two players run for over 1,000 yards in quarterback Lamar Jackson and running back Mark Ingram. They also have Gus Edwards who ran for 711 yards and drafted J.K. Dobbins as the fifth running back taken in the 2020 NFL Draft.
There is a ton to worry about when it comes to the Ravens rushing attack. Their offensive line is one of the best in the league, which means the linebackers will need to shadow Jackson and watch out for the deadly running back trio.
Another reason the Ravens rushing attack is so deadly is they can run anywhere. From running downhill, to outside runs, and quarterback options, the Cowboys must be on their toes.
The 2019 season saw the Cowboys’ linebacking core have a hard time securing tackles. While Smith missed only 7.8 percent of his tackles, Lee and Vander Esch missed 14.0 percent and 15.3 percent respectively.
When you are playing against a team with that much speed, power, versatility, and explosiveness, you need to be at your best. This will be the hardest matchup for the linebacking core during the 2020 season.
Some people were disappointed with the group’s performance last season. A good game would solidify the linebacking corps’ dominance, and show they can defend arguably the best offense in the league. Defense wins championships.