There are far too many Eagle fans saying one of the following things:
1. We NEED to catch the ball.
2. We need to tackle better.
3. We need to stop the run.
4. We need to...
Alright, we need to talk about something tangible, something that can actually be changed in a week. We can't go back to training camp to work on catching drills, but what we can do is install a defense that would get the job done on saturday, and McDermott if you're listening I may have some tips that might help do just that.
Here's how I'd beat the Dallas Cowboys offense.
I had a long discussion at my wife on the way home from my in-laws last night and I laid the groundwork to screw with the Dallas cowboys massive O-Line, bring pressure, and not stop but disrupt the run.
First off we can't match up in size with Cowboys in their O-Line, I know that this seems obvious but when you're sending 4 lineman straight up at the Cowboys O-Line constantly you're saying just that. From the outset, I would play a 3-Deep shell most of the night to prevent the big play and then I would leave 6 men at the line on every down filling the A-Gaps. I would motion people to line all night and then randomly drop those LBs in the A-gaps into coverage randomly, but I would make sure that they had to be accounted for on just about every snap.
To prevent the double teams, on running downs I would line my DTs up 1 yard off the LOS. Or alternate one of them to be off to force those fat O-Line man to tip their hands as to where the run is coming from on running downs.
I would bring back the one defense JJ was running last year where he brought out a modified nickel using 3 safeties, 2 CBs and 2 LBs with Mikell in the box to line up with Witten.
First and foremost I would Blitz, bring the overloads, bring the A-gap, feint the outside blitz by having the LBs taking 3 steps in then dropping back into coverage. But most importantly, I would show blitz 75% of the time. I would leave my DTs and my DEs wide, similar to how the Titans ran their Defensive Line when they still had Kearse. This would force the O-Line to work against their strength and move to match the pressure, that's when you'd be able to bring the Delays in the windows on passing downs.
I think the offense will take care of itself, our WRs were beating their CBs most of the night but we had these long developing plays that we've been lucky enough to run most of the year against the mediocre defenses. If you want negate pressure you do so by speeding up the delivery (especially if you don't feel like running). The shallow crosses were there all night, I would take em all night. Keep some of the screens in, but as soon as you see that CB line up deep on Maclin or D-Jax, I would audible to a smoke screen, especially when you have Avant set as the 3rd WR to that side to set up a block. Where were the swing passes at? Where were the short stick passes? If we work the 5-7 yard game in the first half, the deep passes will be there to nail the coffin shut. We have speed, we just need to use it.
So if I was the coordinator this week, that's how I'd beat the Cowboys. It's too late in the season to work on fundamentals, catching, throwing, tackling, now is the time to work on the plan - not how we play.