Game Plan for Dallas vs. St. Louis
At Bleacher Report, I posted a comprehensive game plan for Dallas:
DO blitz quarterback Sam Bradford.
Although Kiffin typically play a lot of zone coverages, he’ll still blitz when necessary. If the ‘Boys can’t get decent pressure with four rushers, this week might be a good time to send extra defenders. Using stats at Pro Football Focus, take a look at Bradford’s career success against the blitz.
The quarterback has improved against the blitz over the past three seasons, but that’s just because he’s gotten better as a quarterback. He’s still been much better against three and four-man rushes, so Dallas could find some success attacking Bradford—one of the league’s less mobile passers.
DON’T worry too much about wide receiver Tavon Austin.
Austin is an explosive athlete and certainly a fun player to watch. But if the Cowboys are going to game-plan to stop one player on the Rams offense, it should be Cook. He’s the player who can more effectively get the Rams up the field and, more important, get into the end zone.
Austin is a versatile player, but players as small as him usually don’t remain relevant in the red zone. And as much as he can look “electric” in the open field, we’re kind of already seeing Austin’s game in St. Louis; he’s been targeted 19 times and has 12 catches for 88 yards—7.3 yards per catch and 4.6 yards per target. That’s bottom-dwelling efficiency.
Playing primarily in the slot, Austin will be matched up a lot with cornerback OrlandoScandrick. Although he’s not a fan favorite, Scandrick is perhaps the most underrated player in Dallas, and he’s at it again this year, allowing just 4.9 yards per attempt.
Here’s a bold prediction for this game: Scandrick & Co. will hold Austin to under 50 yards and no scores.