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Final Thoughts: An Opportunity For The Dallas D-Line

Posted Oct 10, 2014


IRVING, Texas – As we’ve said before, the Friday injury report is a telling indicator of who you can expect to take the field for a game, and this week is helped clear up a few things for us. As we all know, Rolando McClain looks likely to play after practicing Friday.

But the Seahawks’ own injury report raises a few questions – one of which could go a long way to benefitting the Cowboys’ defense. That’s just one of a few final thoughts as the Cowboys prepare to take the long trip to Seattle for a Week 6 showdown.

  • I would not be surprised to see Orlando Scandrick trail Percy Harvin in this game, especially on third downs. Rod Marinelli does not match defensive backs as much as Rob Ryan did while he was here, but I have a feeling that will change this week. Scandrick is comfortable playing anywhere in the defensive formation. That could work well in defending Harvin, who will be doing the same for the Seahawks by lining up at several different spots.
  • As outstanding as DeMarco Murray has been this season in carrying the load for this offense, playing with a running back by committee approach might be the best way to go in Seattle. The Chargers were able to have some success running the ball against the Seahawks with a rotation of backs in which each had a different skill set and it kept the Seahawks off balance defensively. With this Seahawks defense, the running lanes close quickly, so this is why I think they would have some success with Dunbar and his running style. Keep an eye on him in this game and how this coaching staff might use him for some explosive plays in an attempt to hit this Seahawks before they have a chance to react.
  • The toughest thing about playing this Seahawks offense is how they paralyze your front and keep you from reacting to the ball with all their movement in the backfield. Their deception with Russell Wilson at quarterback, I believe, is more difficult to deal with than what Dallas faced with the 49ers because of his ball handling. The key this week for the Cowboys defense is that they are going to have to play with unbelievable discipline. As a group, they are going to have to resist the urge of crashing down hard inside and having Wilson pull the ball only to go untouched around the corner for a sizeable gain. George Selvie, Anthony Spencer and Jeremy Mincey are all veteran players, but for this defense to survive they must be able stay square along the line, squeezing the gap and keeping the ball inside. 
  • In looking at the final injury report for the Seahawks, it appears that their center, Max Unger, has been listed as doubtful for the game on Sunday with a foot injury that he suffered against the Redskins last week. His backup is Steve Schilling, who the Seahawks signed off the street during the offseason after he spent three years with the San Diego Chargers. Schilling is more of a natural guard, and in the preseason that is where I saw him play the majority of his snaps. He is a position blocker who doesn’t want to deal with the defender toe-to-toe. He likes to try and handle his man on the edges. He has some problems in dealing with power on his nose. He has trouble sitting down on his man because of this lack of power, but also because he plays with a really wide base and it tends to make him over extended. It’s never a good situation when an offense loses a center, much less a player with the ability of Unger, and it will be interesting to see if the Cowboys can take advantage of the situation with him in the starting lineup. 
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