Football analyst Bryan Broaddus tackles three pressing questions for the Cowboys as the team prepares to face the Saints Sunday afternoon.
This week, Bryan talks about the Cowboys' ability to win in the clutch, having a reliable kicker in Dan Bailey and stopping a unique offensive weapon for the Saints.
1. * *When a team has won so many close games like this in a row, does your gut tell you sooner or later the good fortunes must run out or do you think it's a sign this team knows how in the fourth quarter?
Broaddus: I believe it's a good sign. The majority of these games in the NFL come down to plays that are made in the 4th quarter. Earlier this season the defense had a chance to get off the field against Atlanta than later Washington but were unable to do it. The fact that they were able to do so against Cincinnati and Pittsburgh says a lot about this team. In that locker room there is now a belief that when things get a little tough and tight, they can make the plays necessary to close games out.
2. * * You've been around a lot of teams over the years. What is to do for the psyche of a team knowing it has a kicker who is close to automatic?
Broaddus: Throughout my career I have been with some outstanding kickers but never one like Dan Bailey. In the earlier question you spoke of good fortune, well there is no doubt that good fortune smiled on this team at the end of training camp in 2011 when the front office and coaches made the call on Bailey. There was a time there where it looked like that he would not be on this team but things worked out. The fact that Jason Garrett even considered taking a shot at that 60 field goal attempt was because of the confidence he has in Bailey. To be honest as difficult as that final field goal was in Baltimore, I really believed in my heart that he was going to get it home but it didn't turn out that way. To have a kicker with Bailey's talent makes Jason Garrett's job so much easier as a play caller because he know without a doubt that he always has a chance for points.
3. * *With the Cowboys' linebacker issues, how difficult will it be to stop Darren Sproles out of the backfield? Does his game compare to anyone they've seen this year?
Broaddus: Sproles is really a mismatch player and puts a great deal of difficulty on your scheme to try and find ways to control him. He has the ability to take little plays and make them huge. With him in the backfield, Rob Ryan is going to have to defend the entire field. Against the Giants, the crack toss was a big play, so he will keep you on your toes. I don't know if this is a good or fair comparison but Jacquizz Rodgers from the Falcons is similar to what you see with Sproles. That explosive start – stop quickness with the ability to catch the ball. Both are those home run hitter types of backs.