Cowboys vs Steelers: Key Matchups for Dallas D
My latest post at NBC examines two big matchups for the Cowboys’ defense on Sunday.
OLB Anthony Spencer versus RT Kelvin Beachum
The easiest way to limit the impact of Pittsburgh’s explosive wide receivers is to get to Roethlisberger in a hurry. The Cowboys have an excellent chance to do that this week. DeMarcus Ware will likely draw a double-team against left tackle Max Starks on most plays, forcing tight end Heath Miller—one of the league’s premiere blockers—to the left side of the Steelers’ offense. That will leave Anthony Spencer—who plays only 10.3 percent of his pass-rush snaps over the left tackle—matched up primarily with seventh-round rookie Kelvin Beachum.
Beachum, substituting for fellow rookie Mike Adams, has gone through the growing pains you’d anticipate for a late-round rookie thrust into the starting lineup. He’s given up only one sack but allowed pressure on 6.6 percent of passing plays in his two starts; that’s nearly as high as Doug Free’s pressure rate (gasp!). Spencer should be able to consistently win his individual battle against Beachum, and that’s something Dallas needs; it will really be the defense’s most significant advantage on the field.
Head to NBC to read the rest of the article.