Cowboys vs Bengals: Game Plan for Dallas
At NBC, I posted a game plan for the Cowboys’ offense in Week 14.
Run behind Tyron Smith.
It’s no surprise that the Cowboys are most efficient when running behind left tackle Tyron Smith. That works out well for them this week. Cincinnati has one of the league’s premiere run-stopping defensive ends in Carlos Dunlap; Dunlap has recorded a tackle on 11.5 percent of his run snaps—the highest mark for any 4-3 end in the NFL. Luckily, Dunlap plays almost exclusively on the left side of Cincinnati’s defense, meaning he’ll be matched up primarily with Doug Free. Free is going to lose that battle, but Smith should be able to get something going on Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson. Johnson is an outstanding pass-rusher, but his tackle percentage ranks him just 43rd in the league among seven-technique defensive ends.
On top of that, defensive tackle Geno Atkins will be lurking in the middle of the field. Atkins is the top defensive tackle in the NFL right now, hands down. Look for the ‘Boys to run to the left perimeter, away from Atkins and Dunlap.