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Cavanaugh: The Hot Boyzí stifling run defense

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  • Cavanaugh: The Hot Boyzí stifling run defense

    The Hot Boyzí stifling run defense

    21 carries for 59 yards. Thatís what the Cowboys allowed to the running backs of the team that led the NFL in rushing with 160 yards per game. I wasnít thrilled with the Dallas run defense after the Indianapolis game, but this weekend they redeemed themselves and then some.

    Collectively, this bunch of bulls wrecked a Seattle china shop.



    Maliek Collins (#96) started the party with something thatís going to show up a lot on tape. The Hot Boyz played with aggression, and on most run plays, at least one member of the line just refused to stay blocked long enough for a clean run to materialize. Collins is going to win with a swim move and youíll see DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford working their tails off to help finish the play.



    Again, Collins initiates a stop by knifing through the initial double team and beating his blocker across his face to get penetration. Antwaun Woods (#99) is going to play two gaps when they try and block him with a tight end, and thereís nowhere for Chris Carson to go.



    Everyone owns a piece of this play. Woods shoots upfield to force a little confusion to the blocking scheme. Kavon Frazier is on the edge, forcing the play back inside along with Leighton Vander Esch. The defender to really watch is Lawrence, (#90) though. The amount of ground he covers from the backside of this run and how quickly he does it is outstanding. Jaylon Smith (#54) is also quick to the hole.



    Woods refuses to be moved by a double team. Lawrence and Collins are relentless from the back side, refusing to be blocked on their way to the ball.



    Lawrence is unblocked because the Seahawks donít think he can get to the back on this play. Theyíre wrong, and this serves as another example of why the Cowboys should pay him. Caraun Reid (#51) is making his first appearance here, showing good quickness and even if somehow neither of them could make the play Jaylon Smith is waiting to do so.



    Smithís reaction time and straight-line speed make it impossible for the blocker to cut him off, and heís going to make the play. If he didnít? Lawrence once again would have made the tackle while chasing from the back side. Pay him a lot.



    The tight endís job is to pin Randy Gregory (#94) inside. He probably thinks heís done it, but Gregoryís speed allows him to come under the block and still track down the back for a seven-yard loss. Again, what if he didnít? Smith and Sean Lee (#50) both beat their blockers to the spot and would have been there to still make a tackle for loss.



    Woods doesnít get moved by a double team. Collins doesnít give ground. Crawford works his way down the line but the guy who makes the play is DeMarcus Lawrence, pulling himself across a block, covering ground in a hurry and making a forceful tackle.



    The linebackers reacted quickly all day, and they run so well that they can be hard to cut off. DeMarcus Lawrence is one of the best players in football. Antwaun Woodsí ability to hold the point and get some penetration is big. Maliek Collins showed quickness and the power to be disruptive. Tyrone Crawford was rock-solid. Repeating this sort of performance and living in the backfield will be a tall task against a better-blocking Rams team, but this sort of performance should make the Cowboys feel good about their chances.

    Grade: A
    2016 DCC LOTY Fantasy Football Champion

  • #2
    Woods has been a pleasant surprise. It turns out we have quite a few guys worthy of being resigned/signed to long term deals, particularly on defense. I hope the FO can juggle the numbers and keep it mostly intact.

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    • #3
      If they can stuff Gurley like they did the Hawks runners, we should be in good shape vs the Rams.
      defense wins championships

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      • #4
        Originally posted by DLK150 View Post
        Woods has been a pleasant surprise. It turns out we have quite a few guys worthy of being resigned/signed to long term deals, particularly on defense. I hope the FO can juggle the numbers and keep it mostly intact.
        Woods is an overgrown ass man. It's great having a big hungry guy anchoring the line.

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        • #5

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          • #6
            Originally posted by mcnuttz View Post
            On a double team no less.
            2016 DCC LOTY Fantasy Football Champion

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mcnuttz View Post

              Woods is an overgrown ass man. It's great having a big hungry guy anchoring the line.
              Yep. Moves like a mofo for a guy his size too.

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              • #8
                Woods has been a big part of our improvement

                We should still look for upgrades at his position though. And of course over Damien Wilson.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ravidubey View Post
                  Woods has been a big part of our improvement

                  We should still look for upgrades at his position though. And of course over Damien Wilson.
                  Woods at least makes me think 3 technique instead of 1 technique for once. If we had Irving at his top level right now the Dline would be sick. Unfortunately football isn't his priority and we need someone else. Crawford and Collins have performed admirably there but we need a potential 10 sack type guy in the middle.

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