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Mailbag: Will Blitzing Be A Strength Of Linebacker Group?
After Sean Lee's sack, I was wondering if blitzing is going to be a strength of this LB group?
Nick: I think it’ll be a byproduct of the defensive line’s pressure. If Ware and Spencer and the tackles generate pressure on their own, then they won’t need to blitz a lot. But when they do, it should be easier to get there. That was evident in Lee’s sack against the Raiders. Ware was actually providing solid pressure up front to open the lane for Lee.
Rowan: It should be more of a strength than it was last season. With Lee’s instincts and Bruce Carter’s athleticism, there’s no reason they both can’t be active getting to the quarterback. Now, Rod Marinelli does believe pressure should be created with his four-man front. But if the defensive line can cause havoc and get up the field, then that should allow more open lanes for the linebackers behind them.
Quite irritating that the team is picking up right where they left off with the penalties. Something has to change or this team will continue to be average. Thoughts?
Nick: I think you’re right about the second part. If the team continues to have red-zone penalties that stall drives and force them to settle for field goals, then they will be an average team once again. However, it wouldn’t get irritating to me until the regular season because I do believe games are called and handled differently in the preseason. Sure, a penalty is a penalty, but until it counts for real, I try not to get too excited or negative about what we see in these games. Every team has a different agenda in these exhibition games.
Rowan: There have been too many penalties thus far, and there’s also been evidence that the red zone problems might still be there. Now, it’s a small sample size and they’ve addressed both issues at camp, with head coach Jason Garrett pulling out entire units for false starts and performing a plethora of situational drills in red zone and goal-to-go situations. But yes, the penalties do have to cease if the Cowboys want to start reaching the end zone more regularly and subsequently winning more games.