Cowboys' run defense comes into focus

Posted Oct. 08, 2010 @ 8:49 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

The Cowboys' run defense was one of the few scars on an otherwise successful rebound win over the Texans in Week Three. It was the first game they had allowed an opposing rusher to surpass the 100-yard mark since late in the 2008 season. They spent the bye week working on consistent tackling and maintaining gap responsibility, which was a problem on what amounted to three big runs in the last game with otherwise solid run defense. One trend has been that opponents have tried to run on the Cowboys' nickel and dime defense, hoping to take advantage of their smaller personnel. Whatever the defense, the Cowboys must play their best run defense through this coming stretch. After battling the Titans' Chris Johnson in Week Five, they have to face Vikings RB Adrian Peterson in Week Six, the Giants' tough duo of Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs in Week Seven and the Jaguars' Maurice Jones-Drew in Week Eight. All three opponents offer different style running games, but with one consistent element: all of them will punish the Cowboys if they are not disciplined and if they do not tackle better.