All-22: Breakdowns In The Dallas Defense Play To The Redskins Strengths

| October 10, 2013 | 1 Comments

Over the last few days I’ve been asked a lot of questions, but one has been asked the most: How do you beat the Cowboys defense? That’s an easy one for me to answer, test their LB discipline and Safety talent early and often. So far through 5 games the LB’s are over aggressive in the run game which leaves them vulnerable to the play action pass, and the Safeties have been caught out of position while allowing big plays.Washington had a lot of success vs Dallas in 2012 relying on a strong run game, and play action passing that lead to explosive plays. Look for Washington to do the same Sunday Night in Dallas VS the Cowboys.

I sent out a tweet earlier in the day saying “Robert will go off this week”  and as I expected it was met with skepticism. But lets use the ALL-22 to look at  the Cowboys defensive issues and how they could help the Redskins offense find its comfort zone.

Personnel: Regular (2 WR- 1TE-2RB)

Defense: Cover 3

-Giants  use weak side play action to open up the strong side post route by baiting the LB’s towards the Line of scrimmage. Dallas is showing cover 2 pre-snap but will rotate into cover 1 post snap.
-The top WR gets a fast outside release , this makes the CB have to turn and run with the WR since he can’t funnel him inside to the safety. The CB to the bottom of screen keeps his outside leverage and pushes the WR toward the has and his Safety help. The problem on this play is the LB’s and SS have sold out on Giants run action, leaving their secondary exposed for a big play.
-The QB sits in a clean pocket while the WR breaks into the open field… This should look very familiar to Redskins fans.
-The WR catches the ball in space and takes it 57 yards.
Personnel: Posse (3 WR- 1TE-1RB)
Defense: Cover 2
-Giants use weak side play action to bait & pull the LB’s toward the line of scrimmage. Safeties have deep 1/2 responsibilities and get to their drop points post snap. WR’s should be funneled to the inside hashes per the scheme rules.
- The Lb’s take the bait and charge the line of scrimmage, even the nickle CB -white Circle-took the bait and is now lost in coverage. The bottom CB pushed the WR inside post -snap but has no underneath help from the LB’s.
- The QB has not one, but two wide open WR’s over the middle of the field. He chooses the bottom WR for an easy 17 yard completion.
Personnel: Posse (3 WR- 1TE-2RB)
Defense: 2 deep man under
- Simple play with a Go/Post combination.. The CB’s run into each-other trying to switch on the WR’s and there is no interior coverage support.
-Another easy spot throw for the QB to a WR in open space.

- Randle hauls in the pass for 22 yards.
Personnel: Posse (3 WR- 1TE-1RB)
Defense: Good Question..Quarters?
-Giants run a Dig/Fly combination vs a defense I can’t identify 100 %, looks like quarters but whatever it was they blew it.
- The Safety pulls a Madieu Williams and comes down too shallow on the WR, He has to open his hips to run with the WR but it’s too late and the QB knows it. The QB rolls to his right to avoid pressure and to buy time to get the ball down-field.
-The WR split the coverage and the QB finds him for an easy TD. He also had the dig route wide open as well…
Personnel: Posse (3 WR- 1TE-1RB)
Defense: Cover 2
- This concept is all about the WR in the slot VS the OLB in coverage. The concept is for the WR to read how the LB gets depth & width in his coverage drop. The WR will bend his route right behind the LB if he gets too wide & doesn’t get enough depth to close the hole to the Safety.
This video is a great explanation of the route & coverage concept
YouTube Preview Image
-LB is his drop but you can see the void opening in the defense. The QB can make this completion if he gets the time to make the pass.
-WR bends to the open space behind the LB and in front of the Safety.
- The QB even places the ball perfectly on the back shoulder to protect his WR from the charging Safety.
Personnel: Posse (3 WR- 1TE-1RB)
Defense: Cover 3
- Chiefs want to run off and spread out the LB coverage with this play concept that may look familiar to Redskins fans. The skins like to run the under slant to Garcon and Hankerson on third downs and in the red zone.
- The QB gets the snap and gets his shoulders turned strong side, seems like a simple movement but it helps pull the LB’s away from the middle of the field. The LB’s have to respect and get width/depth in their zone to protect the double vertical routes by the TE and slot WR. The WR will slant under the rub routes to the middle of the field.
-The QB resets towards his throwing lane over the outside hash. The LB is put in conflict with the under slant crossing his face & the vertical release, he has to maintain his depth and hope to rally to make the tackle on the under slant if it’s completed.
- The LB overruns the route and the WR walks in for an easy TD.
Personnel: Ace (2WR- 2TE-1RB)
Defense: Cover 1 man
-Chargers use Ace personnel but split the RB & TE out-wide giving them a four WR look. Dallas matches up in man coverage across the board.
- The FS has to get depth and stay over top both vertical routes, on this play he is late leaving the middle of the field and will only have time to get over one. The QB notices the FS hanging out and anticipates his RB coming open on the outside vertical.
- FS is late & the RB catches the ball at the goaline for a TD.

Personnel: Posse (3 WR- 1TE-1RB)
Defense: Cover 1
- Chargers run everyone to the goaline except their RB who is on a wheel route. Dallas drops in zone but the OLB will pick up the RB in man.
-LB  gets on the inside hip of the RB while the WR’s run the coverage off to the endzone.
- The QB spots the RB entering an open window and lets it go.
- Lb looses the footrace and the QB hits the RB for 7.
Personnel: Posse (3 WR- 1TE-1RB)
Defense: Cover 3
-Chargers will run a two vertical concept with their WR & TE, The combination will test the FS’s ability to stay over top of both verticals.
-FS gets over top of the verticals but he is in a poor body position to make a play on both. The QB sees this, and goes to the TE on the vertical route in the middle of the field.
-The LB can’t hang with the TE and this is an easy TD without a FS able to make a play.
These are just a few examples of offenses taking advantage of the breakdowns in the Dallas defense, but they are breakdowns that play to the strengths of the Redskins offense. The question is will Robert Griffin III and the Redskins  be able to take advantage of them on Sunday Night?

Filed in: FILM ROOM

I think this is really important too because we know the Cowboys can score. Washington needs to execute and be sharp to keep Dallas's offense off the field. Do you think Dallas has a lot of trouble defending from Cover 1? It seems to be a distinct weakness of theirs.

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