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Scout’s Eye: Looking Back To Cowboys’ D Clutch 4-and-Out

Posted Dec 23, 2013


The Scout’s Eye takes a look at the stop on the Redskins final offensive drive.

Jason Garrett and the offensive coaches did the best job they could managing the final minutes of that game to not only get a lead but take time off that clock. After an Illegal Block Above-the-Waist penalty on the kickoff return puts the Redskins on their own 13, Monte Kiffin and his defense, fresh off a stop on the previous drive, head back out on the field with 1:01 on the clock.

Kyle Shanahan sends his “11” personnel on the field with 3rddown back, Roy Helu as the running back. Kiffin counters with his nickel personnel in hopes to match. Pre snap, Cousins motions Helu wide to the left over Brandon Carr. Pierre Garcon is on the same side but in the tight slot. Carr adjusts wide to handle Helu as Carter and Church adjust to Garcon. At the snap, Carter is able to get his hands on Garcon forcing him wide. Carr is playing five yards off Helu as Cousins looks in his direction. It’s a simple pitch and catch as Helu curls back inside, catches the ball, then heads for the sidelines for a gain of four. In the pocket, Ware is able to get push in the pocket off the edge, but Cousins did a nice job of getting rid of the ball quickly.

The Redskins are now facing a 2nd – 6 from their own 16. Shanahan sticks with the “11” personnel and does the same thing motioning Helu out of the backfield creating an empty set. Kiffin is still in his nickel but the adjust that he makes, is that he walks Church all the way outside to handle Helu and keeps Carr on Garcon out of the tight slot. It’s a Cover “0” with Jeff Heath all the way on the other side of the field in coverage in Logan Paulsen. At the snap, Garcon starts up the field, then pauses. Carr starts to drive on him as Cousins is looking at him all the way. Holloman sees the same thing and begins to adjust to the stopped Garcon, but then Garcon takes off inside. Holloman over shoots him and Carr is now sprinting to try and rally in coverage. On the other side of the formation, Sterling Moore is dealing with Aldrick Robinson running out of the tight slot. Moore gets his hands on Robinson at the line to hold him up for a split second. Cousins knows there is no safety in the middle of the field and now he is going to take a shot at that matchup instead of hitting Garcon breaking across the field. Moore is a good shape on Robinson as their feet get tangled up. Moore never touches him with his hands, so it was a good no call. What helped Moore on the route was that he was able to get his hands on Robinson off the line because the timing of the pass was thrown off.

Now 3rd – 6. Redskins sticking with their “11” personnel, Cowboys still in nickel. Shanahan goes with a much tighter formation with Paulsen and Robinson on the left side with Garcon and Moss to the right. Helu is lined up in the backfield, next to Cousins on the right side. At the snap, Garcon sprints to his right with Carr in chase, Scandrick goes inside with Moss. Moore takes Robinson and Church is on Paulsen. On the route, Carr gets his hands on Garcon which actually throws him off balance. Cousins is trying to go in this direction without question. As Garcon regains his balance, he heads up the field with Carr on his hip. Garcon raises his hand like he wants the ball down the field, but instead Cousins throws it to the outside like he was expecting the comeback or the out at the sticks. Ball goes out of bounds, forcing a 4th down.

4th – 6. Shanahan has gone with his “11” personnel in the entire series and Kiffin has matched him with his nickel. With the play clock winding down, the Cowboys catch another huge break, Scandrick and Carter with their eye on the clock see it hit :00 begin to call for the penalty but the officials do not and the play is allowed to continue. At the snap, Scandrick runs with Garcon out of the left slot, Carr handles Moss wide left, with Moore on Robinson and Church still on Paulsen. Holloman takes Helu, who stays in to block, left of Cousins. Carr manages to get his left hand on the right shoulder of Moss to hold him up enough. Cousins is looking at him the entire time. Carr is in outstanding position the entire route leaving him no window to throw the ball in. The pass sails over the head of Moss incomplete. In the pocket, Jason Hatcher is able to beat Chris Chester up the field off his right shoulder and takes a line at Cousins. The young quarterback feels this and has to hurry the ball out and is flinching as he lets it fly. His body position and feet are poor and the ball comes out high.

For a defense that has struggled getting stops all year, this one couldn’t have come at a better time with the season on the line.  

 

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