Dez Vs. McCourty & Other Final Thoughts For Titans


  • I expect to see much more of Henry Melton this week -- even to the point where I believe he makes his first start for the Cowboys. I also know Terrell McClain received more work this week in getting ready for this game. As far as his workload, like the all the defensive linemen on this squad, these coaches would like for them to play around 30 snaps each. During the OTAs and minicamp practices, McClain lined up at the three-technique, but he has the versatility to back up both Melton and Nick Hayden.
  • Don't be surprised when Titans defensive coordinator Ray Horton lines cornerback Jason McCourty over the top of Dez Bryant for a good stretch of this game on Sunday. McCourty is the Titans' best man for that role. After watching the Titans' tape against the Chiefs, when McCourty carried Donnie Avery all over the field, I am almost positive Horton will ask his talented corner to do the same with Bryant.
  • Speaking of defensive tackles for the Cowboys, keep an eye on how they line up against left guard Andy Levitre for the Titans. Levitre really struggled against the Chiefs and dealing with the power of Allen Bailey when he lined up on his nose. This also might be a good matchup to put Jeremy Mincey or Tyrone Crawford inside and have them straight power rush him to see if they can push the pocket on Jake Locker.
  • As I write these observations for the week, the Cowboys currently have three healthy safeties on the active roster -- Barry Church, J.J. Wilcox and Jeff Heath. All three of them play special teams, as well, so if they go with this look it will be a long day on Sunday. There is a possibility that Sterling Moore could line up at safety, but in asking a few questions he has only received work at cornerback and in the slot. If they needed to replace C.J. Spillman, who is listed as questionable, they could activate Micah Pellerin from the practice squad. That would require a roster move, so keep an eye on that possibility on Saturday before the team leaves for Nashville. During a normal practice, Pellerin would get work on the scout team and a snap or two with the regular defense, but this week I am sure that his work load increased.  [embedded_ad]
  • Last week against the Chiefs, the Titans suffered a huge loss when linebacker Zach Brown was lost for the season with a pectoral injury. Brown is one of those players that you see all over the field. Zaviar Gooden will start in his place and like all these Titans linebackers, he can really run. He is extremely active in the way he chases the ball. There are snaps where you see him actually overrun plays because he is in such a hurry to get down and make the play. When the ball gets to the outside he is on his horse and taking off. He did a nice job of extending his hands to take on blockers and get in the hole to make the tackle. He'll wrap up and get his man on the ground. If he does have an issue it's when those hands miss and he gets hooked up on a block.
  • In the 2014 NFL Draft the Titans took Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan with their first-round selection, but coming out of camp he did not crack the starting lineup to open the season. For the Titans, former Baltimore first-rounder Michael Oher is the starter at right tackle, while longtime veteran Michael Roos is on the left side. Against the Chiefs I thought that Oher was the best of the group, and in talking to scouts around the league about Oher, they offered the same observation. To a man they said that Oher deserved to be the starter because of his play, but if there was a player that needed to be replaced, it was Roos. The plan appears for the Titans to eventually replace Roos with Lewan and go from there. Roos is in the final year of his contract and there has been some slippage in his play here early.
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IRVING, Texas – Before we get set for the weekend, I've once again compiled my final thoughts for this Week 2 matchup against the Tennessee Titans. If you've been reading our site during the buildup for this game, you're familiar with the talking points by now.

Here are six big points I think you'll want to have an eye on ahead of kickoff:


  • I expect to see much more of Henry Melton this week -- even to the point where I believe he makes his first start for the Cowboys. I also know Terrell McClain received more work this week in getting ready for this game. As far as his workload, like the all the defensive linemen on this squad, these coaches would like for them to play around 30 snaps each. During the OTAs and minicamp practices, McClain lined up at the three-technique, but he has the versatility to back up both Melton and Nick Hayden.
  • Don't be surprised when Titans defensive coordinator Ray Horton lines cornerback Jason McCourty over the top of Dez Bryant for a good stretch of this game on Sunday. McCourty is the Titans' best man for that role. After watching the Titans' tape against the Chiefs, when McCourty carried Donnie Avery all over the field, I am almost positive Horton will ask his talented corner to do the same with Bryant.
  • Speaking of defensive tackles for the Cowboys, keep an eye on how they line up against left guard Andy Levitre for the Titans. Levitre really struggled against the Chiefs and dealing with the power of Allen Bailey when he lined up on his nose. This also might be a good matchup to put Jeremy Mincey or Tyrone Crawford inside and have them straight power rush him to see if they can push the pocket on Jake Locker.
  • As I write these observations for the week, the Cowboys currently have three healthy safeties on the active roster -- Barry Church, J.J. Wilcox and Jeff Heath. All three of them play special teams, as well, so if they go with this look it will be a long day on Sunday. There is a possibility that Sterling Moore could line up at safety, but in asking a few questions he has only received work at cornerback and in the slot. If they needed to replace C.J. Spillman, who is listed as questionable, they could activate Micah Pellerin from the practice squad. That would require a roster move, so keep an eye on that possibility on Saturday before the team leaves for Nashville. During a normal practice, Pellerin would get work on the scout team and a snap or two with the regular defense, but this week I am sure that his work load increased.  [embedded_ad]
  • Last week against the Chiefs, the Titans suffered a huge loss when linebacker Zach Brown was lost for the season with a pectoral injury. Brown is one of those players that you see all over the field. Zaviar Gooden will start in his place and like all these Titans linebackers, he can really run. He is extremely active in the way he chases the ball. There are snaps where you see him actually overrun plays because he is in such a hurry to get down and make the play. When the ball gets to the outside he is on his horse and taking off. He did a nice job of extending his hands to take on blockers and get in the hole to make the tackle. He'll wrap up and get his man on the ground. If he does have an issue it's when those hands miss and he gets hooked up on a block.
  • In the 2014 NFL Draft the Titans took Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan with their first-round selection, but coming out of camp he did not crack the starting lineup to open the season. For the Titans, former Baltimore first-rounder Michael Oher is the starter at right tackle, while longtime veteran Michael Roos is on the left side. Against the Chiefs I thought that Oher was the best of the group, and in talking to scouts around the league about Oher, they offered the same observation. To a man they said that Oher deserved to be the starter because of his play, but if there was a player that needed to be replaced, it was Roos. The plan appears for the Titans to eventually replace Roos with Lewan and go from there. Roos is in the final year of his contract and there has been some slippage in his play here early.
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