It shouldn't be too much of a concern this week, because it's hard to imagine the Jacksonville Jaguars duplicating it, but after Sunday's game against the Cowboys' vaunted rushing attack, the Arizona Cardinals' defenders laid out their blueprint for shutting down the unstoppable force that is DeMarco Murray.
Murray had a strong day considering the circumstances, but he saw his eight-game streak of 100-yard rushing games come to an end as the Cardinals were able to get away with stacking the box with nine players and making life very difficult on Murray, who finished with 79 yards on the ground.
The Cardinals also picked up on a tendency the Cowboys had showed on film, and they exposed it in a big way on a key fourth-and-1 early in the fourth quarter.
“We knew they were going to come ‘A’ gaps,” Cardinals defensive lineman Calais Campbell said of the play, via The Dallas Morning News. “We watched film. They did that for sure, see it every time. We knew they were going to come ‘A’ gap, we just got penetration and we shut them down.”
Murray was up against it with the Cardinals loading the box, and they were able to do that thanks in large part to the fact that Tony Romo was in street clothes and Brandon Weeden was ineffective and non-threatening. All signs point to Romo returning in London this week, and that bodes well for Murray.
“I thought we did good against nine guys in the box,” Murray said. “It was the hardest day. You got to give those guys credit, a really, really good front seven. … That was probably the first time we have seen [that many in the box]. I am sure it won’t be the last.”