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Cowboys Leaning On Former Vikings DC This Week  


Much has been made this week about the Cowboys' new and unique approach to coaching. 

The "across the hall" methods that head coach Mike McCarthy is using tries to give players an opposing viewpoint by allowing them to meet with coaches from the other side of the ball that will affect their respective position.

This week, the Cowboys tight ends might actually benefit the most.

On the other side of the ball is senior defensive assistant George Edwards, who helps with the linebacker group. 

Edwards might know a thing or 12 about the Vikings defense, having spent the previous six years in Minnesota as the defensive coordinator. 

"Yeah, we had Coach Edwards in there this week and he was amazing," tight end Dalton Schultz said. "He was able to talk about some of the scout stuff that he kind of saw on us, whether that be alignments that we have that might tip off exactly what we're doing, our route concepts and how to disguise those a little better or how to attack a certain guy and who's playing a certain coverage a certain way. I don't want to go too far into it, but it was really helpful and a great defensive mind to have those conversations with to better your game."

Not to say that Edwards hasn't been able to help in every game, considering that he has coached in the NFL for 23 years, but he certainly adds a better perspective this week. 

Edwards joined Mike Zimmer's staff in 2014 and helped the Vikings transition from one of the worst defenses in 2013, to a consistent unit that ranked in the Top 10 in total defense nearly every year. 

Edwards is actually making his second stop with the Cowboys, having served as the linebackers coach in Dallas from 1998-2001, coaching with Zimmer, who was the Cowboys' defensive coordinator from 2000-05. 

After the Cowboys, Edwards bounced around to Washington, Cleveland, Miami, Buffalo and then Miami again before settling in Minnesota. 

With the Cowboys, Edwards works with the entire defense to help coordinator Mike Nolan, but specifically focuses in on the linebackers, helping LB coach Scott McCurley. 

The Cowboys finally seem to be getting to full strength at the linebacker position. Sean Lee missed the first seven games with a sports hernia injury and Leighton Vander Esch was out four games with a broken collarbone injury. 

But in the last game, Lee was able to get enough snaps to even spell Jaylon Smith for a few plays. Smith had entered the Pittsburgh game playing every snap before getting some relief against the Steelers, thanks to the presence of Lee. 

The linebackers and the entire defense will need to be at their best on Sunday against the Vikings, who feature the NFL's leading rusher in Dalvin Cook, who has 954 yards.

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