Revisited: This was a battle that has a very bright future between two outstanding rookie players. Travis Frederick and Bennie Logan went at each other the majority of the game and in the end, despite being on the losing side on Sunday night, Frederick was able to get the best of Logan.
There were so many questions about the lack of foot quickness and strength in Frederick’s game when he was drafted but as the season progressed, those questions went right out the window. Frederick was able to handle Logan both run and pass, which I thought would be difficult for him to do. Where Frederick has improved playing these 3-4 nose tackles, is how he is able to make both his hands and feet work together. Frederick is able to quickly make the snap but while he is doing that, you see him fire his off-hand inside but at the same time gain direction, then ground with his first step, which puts himself in position for the block.
Against Logan, not only do you have to match his power, you have to find ways to control him on the move. Frederick did a really nice job of staying on his feet and not allowing Logan to work down the line on him and get into the backfield to disrupt the play. For the game, Bennie Logan was only credited with one assisted tackle where there were games leading to this one where he was far more productive. Travis Frederick needed to play Bennie Logan to a draw in this game but in the end, he was far better than that.
Cowboys Defensive Line vs. Eagles Offensive Line
Revisited: In looking back at this game against the Eagles, it was a shame that with so much on the line for this Cowboys defense, that they didn’t get the result they deserved. Monte Kiffin, Rod Marinelli and Leon Lett, had their troops ready to play. The first time that these two teams met in Philadelphia, I felt like the Cowboys were outstanding in playing on the Eagles side of the line of scrimmage and there were several times on Sunday night, they were able to accomplish much of the same thing.
I felt like that the Cowboys upfront needed to make these Eagles offensive linemen have to scramble to sustain their blocks and they were able to do just that. As the game wore on, it was very clear that they were not completely comfortable with how this Cowboys front four were getting after them. For the Cowboys, it didn’t matter who was rushing the passer,
When you sack Nick Foles five times, there is something that you are doing right up front. To be honest, this group should have had at least three more sacks, but Foles was able to unload the ball before going to the ground. Going into this game, I was impressed with the Eagles line with Jason Kelce, Evan Mathis and Jason Peters. Leading up to this game, they were a big part of what the Eagles have accomplished on offense since Foles took over at quarterback earlier in the season for Michael Vick. The Eagles were able to get some yards running the ball with LeSean McCoy but to hold him to just a long run of 20 yards and one catch for three yards, says a great deal about how this defensive line was able to play. This group was able to cause pressure the entire night and even come up with a goal line stand to keep them in the game but as many times before this season, the result was not on their side.
Cowboys C Travis Frederick vs. Eagles NT Bennie Logan
This will be an interesting matchup between two rookies that are both helping their teams with a high level of play. Travis Frederick has been rock solid in the middle for the Cowboys since he was put in the lineup as a day one starter. He has not always been perfect but for a young guy to handle all the things that has been thrown his way speaks volumes for the type of player that he is. He will be battling one of my favorite players from the 2013 NFL Draft in Bennie Logan.
There have been plenty of questions about the lack of drafting defensive linemen on this team and I have to admit that I was surprised that Logan didn’t get more consideration from this scouting and coaching staff. LSU has put several defensive linemen in this league of the years and some with mixed success but in my view, Logan was different. Where Frederick has improved over the season has been against the 3-4 nose men that play with power. Logan will be a strong test in this area for Frederick because he does play with power and can be difficult to handle on the move.
Where Frederick is going to have to be at his best is when the ball is stretched to the edge that he maintains his position throughout the block and not allow Logan to penetrate and be disruptive to the play. Frederick must find ways to finish his blocks both run and pass.
Cowboys Defensive Line vs. Eagles Offensive Line
The last time that these two clubs met in Philadelphia, I thought that the game was won up front for the Cowboys with the amount of pressure that they were able to apply not only in the passing game but how they were able to handle things in the running game as well. For this squad to get a victory Sunday night, they are going to need that same kind of effort and find ways to play on the Eagles side of the line of scrimmage.
As bad as Nick Foles was in that game last time, it was the defensive line that caused him the issues. Monte Kiffin and this defense needs to attack this Eagles offensive line and make them have to scramble to sustain their blocks. To this point and time in the season, that was the best game that they had played as a group when it came to getting off blocks and being where they needed to be with their responsibilities. They on going to need that same kind of effort again on Sunday night. For the Eagles, it is real simple, they have to do a better job of not allowing this Cowboys defensive front control the game like they did last time out.
The Eagles have some talented players on their offensive line and it is going to be a battle upfront. Jason Kelce, Evan Mathis, Jason Peters are quality players, with rookie Lane Johnson improving. Keep an eye on how this matchup progresses throughout the night because I believe this is where the game is going to be win or lost once again.