DeMarco Murray of the Dallas Cowboys
A lot of people are labeling this a “trap” game for Dallas, which is sort of ridiculous given that they’re three-point underdogs. There’s no trap here; the Cowboys have one heck of a battle on their hands when they visit the Chiefs this week, and if they don’t see that, there’s a problem.
But while some of the media might be overlooking Kansas City, I don’t think the team will be. I get the sense that they’ll be ready to play. That doesn’t mean that they’ll win given that the Chiefs were one of the best 2-14 teams of all-time last year and now have a better head coach and quarterback, but I think the ‘Boys will at least be able to stay in the game. Here are two ways they can take home the victory.
Run the ball.
Did I just say run the ball? I’m not sure if I’ve actually ever given this advice, but I think the Cowboys can find some success by running the ball early against Kansas City. They shouldn’t overdo it, but I think DeMarco Murray is going to find a lot of success in this contest.
You have to think the Chiefs are going to come out and try to mimic what the Giants did to Dallas last week. They held Tony Romo to his lowest YPA since 2009 and shut down Dez Bryant by putting a safety over top of the receiver at all times. The Chiefs might bring Eric Berry down into the box at times just because that’s where he’s best, but they’re also likely to play plenty of Cover 2. When that happens, look for Murray to run wild, particularly when Dallas gets it to the perimeter—away from big nose tackle Dontari Poe.
Pass from light personnel.
I typically advocate passing with heavy personnel on early downs because the net effect is often more positive than when you have a wide receiver matched up on a cornerback and the defense anticipates a pass. And my advice to Dallas earlier in the week would have been to get James Hanna on the field to pass from two-tight sets.
But Chiefs nickel cornerback Dunta Robinson won’t play due to a personal matter, which will force cornerback Ron Parker onto the field. An undrafted free agent in 2011, Parker has been thrown at just two times in his entire career because he’s played just 37 snaps in over two years. The Cowboys need to get Miles Austin into the slot and have him work on Parker as much as possible.