Broaddus: Grading The DL Rotation, And Other Notes

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IRVING, Texas – A few leftover observations from the Titans game tape that I didn't get to yesterday. Most notably, for me at least, is taking a look at the constantly-changing roles along this defensive line – and what is this team going to do with Sterling Moore when Orlando Scandrick returns?

Also, there's more to Jason Witten's game these days than you see on the stat sheet.

  • After watching Tony Romo play these last two weeks, I am curious if the reasoning of his lack of velocity at times on his passes is due more to his legs than his back? If he was having issues with his back, I just don't believe you would be seeing him handle these zone plays in the running game as well as he has -- where has to meet these backs at the mesh point. If he was slow or struggling you could clearly see that. Romo said he has strengthened his core, but I am concerned that his legs and the way that he uses them in throwing the ball are not physically where they need to be quite yet. He uses his legs to set up and drive the ball. Something worth keeping an eye on.  


  • This front office and coaching staff generally does not ask for my advice, nor would I expect them to, but when Orlando Scandrick comes back from his two-game suspension against the Rams this week -- he should once again be the starter at right cornerback. But there are two adjustments I would consider: My first one would be to continue to use Scandrick in the slot and Sterling Moore on the outside in Morris Claiborne's spot. The second one would be putting Moore on the field in place of J.J. Wilcox and let him play as a true safety, but also match him up with these tight ends that have been giving this defense so many problems. If this coaching staff is truly about getting the best players on the field, Sterling Moore has to figure in that equation some way. 
  • In talking to Jason Witten on the plane ride home from Tennessee, he couldn't have been more proud in the way this offense was able to run the football against the Titans.  After watching the tape I could see why he felt the way he did. It was an outstanding effort by DeMarco Murray, the offensive line and receivers to dominate a Titans front seven that was dominant against Kansas City in Week 1. The mistake I made and should have picked up on Witten's enthusiasm was the role that he and James Hanna had a hand in this success, as well. If there is an area that Jason Witten has improved in with his age, it has been his run blocking. His strength and body positioning has been outstanding, but his best trait in my eyes has been his ability to finish those blocks. In these past two games, his point of attack blocking is right where it needs to be and you can see the results with your own eyes in the way this team is running the ball. When you want to be critical of Jason Witten and say that he might be slowing down, you might want to step back and take a look at the whole picture.   [embedded_ad]
  • Look for this Cowboys defensive line to continue to rotate personnel throughout the season. Tyrone Crawford started at left end, but there was plenty of George Selvie and Jack Crawford in this game, as well. There was a nickel rush on the field that one time had Jeremy Mincey at left defensive end, Tyrone Crawford at the nose tackle, Henry Melton as the under-tackle and Kyle Wilber at right defensive end. The goal is to play these linemen 30 to 35 snaps a game.
  • Terrell McClain saw his first game action of the season against the Titans, and even though he did not appear on the stat sheet, I thought he was active in the way he played blocks one-on-one, but his technique will need to improve when he has to face those double-team blocks when he is required to hold the point of the attack. I see no reason why he should not improve in this area at all with more snaps.
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