IRVING, Texas – Football analyst Bryan Broaddus answers three pressing questions on the Cowboys, stemming from the offensive line rotation with Brian Waters in the mix, the comparisons between Dwayne Harris and Cole Beasley and facing the AFC opponents early in the season.
1. With Brian Waters' age, do you think a rare offensive line rotation can be a good thing for him. Or will this eventually disrupt continuity?
Broaddus:In studying the Rams game, I thought he did a much better job than he did against the Chiefs. The issue with Waters is not going to be the pass blocking but how he is able to function as a run blocker. There were times in Kansas City where he was a tick late to the second level or his technique wasn't right to pull on the trap.
Waters was moving better and his sustain on his blocks reflected that. What this rotation has done, it has made Mackenzy Bernadeau have to raise the level of his play. It is something that I have noticed as several members of the front office. I do believe that the rotation has given Waters the opportunity to get in better physical condition and has saved some wear-and-tear on his body in the early going. Continuity does not appear to be an issue because Travis Frederick and Doug Free appear to be adjusting well regardless who is in at that spot.
2. Can you compare Cole Beasley and Dwayne Harris? Are they pretty much the same player or do they have major differences?
Broaddus: There are difference between Cole Beasley and Dwayne Harris in this offense. Beasley is a dynamic player as we have all seen is most productive when he can operate out of the slot or on the move. His quickness and explosion are rare and because of his height, he has to have those traits. Harris has quickness but not to the level of Beasley. What makes Harris usual, is despite his lack of height, his bulk, mental make-up and total disregard for his own personal safety, make him as rare as they come. [embedded_ad]
Harris has a similar nasty attitude, say as a Barry Church. I have never seen him back away from a challenge. Against the Rams on offense, he was used as a point of attack blocker and with nice success. On the punt team, usually the gunners are attacked, Harris was attacking the blockers as he worked his way down the field. It was good to see Beasley active against the Rams and productive. Hopefully this will lead to other opportunities like we are seeing from Harris.
3. The Cowboys will play three AFC teams in the first five games. Is it better to get unfamiliar teams early in the year or prefer to have more tape later on?
Broaddus:I believe that you have to think about the flip side of this for the Chiefs, Chargers and Broncos as well. They don't see the Cowboys all that much either. With the way that advanced scouting is done these days, this honestly is no problem. What is interesting, is that the Cowboys play the Raiders late in the season with already have faced them in the preseason, so the players would have had a little look there and that should help.
Once you get these AFC teams out of the way, with the schedule set up the way it currently is, you will be playing head-to-head games against the other NFC teams. I have always liked this because those are the teams that you are competing with for playoff spots and positioning. As the season was starting to come to an end, I wanted to know where we stood and would a head-to-head meeting put us in a better position. It's the best way to control your own destiny.