The DC Times

A New Way to Look at the Cowboys, NFL, and Fantasy Football

By Jonathan Bales

Defensive Game Plan for Cowboys vs Eagles

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Yesterday, I posted an offensive game plan for the Cowboys in Week 10, joining up with Mike Clay of PhiladelphiaEagles.com. Today, Part II of our analysis was posted at the Eagles’ team site, and it includes my take on how the Cowboys’ defense should attack the Eagles:

Cowboys Pass Defense
By Jonathan Bales

Unlike past seasons, Vick ranks in the middle of the pack in deep passing rate in 2012. With just 11.7 percent of his passes traveling at least 20 yards past the line of scrimmage, Vick has thrown deep far less frequently than in past years. Those numbers aren’t necessarily telling of how Dallas should defend Philly, though, since Vick still possesses a rocket arm and two big downfield threats in DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. Unless the Eagles can consistently move the ball on the ground, it might be best for Rob Ryan to call a whole lot of Cover 2 looks to limit big plays.

When the Cowboys blitz or otherwise play man coverage, they should probably first turn their attention to Jackson. The explosive receiver is quietly having a rebound season, hauling in 63.8 percent of his 58 targets for 624 yards. Vick has posted a 104.4 passer rating when throwing to Jackson this year, compared to only 83.4 when looking Maclin’s way. Look for Gerald Sensabaugh to shade Jackson’s side whenever the safety is playing in a centerfield position.

If the ‘Boys do indeed play Cover 2, they could be vulnerable in the middle of the field, especially with Sean Lee out for the year. Tight end Brent Celek has 102 fewer receiving yards than Jason Witten on the year, but he’s also gone out on fewer routes. On a per-route basis, Celek has actually posted one-tenth of a yard more than Witten in 2012. Thus, he’s more than capable of capitalizing on a potential Cowboys weakness if given the chance.

Read the entire post at PhiladelphiaEagles.com.

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