In The Trenches

Cowboys, and he did it in the first half. When Tampa had a 6-0 lead and it looked for a moment like Brad Johnson couldn't and wouldn't do anything for the offense, it was Colombo that started to fight. The big right tackle turned the game into his own personal fistfight and he slugged away at the Bucs, even igniting a personal foul penalty on Tampa.  

Colombo brought his mean streak to the party last year and the Cowboys followed. Whether he was scrapping after the play or just plowing guys off the ball, Colombo helped that offensive line carry the team for that game. 

That attitude again on Sunday will beat the Bucs.  

And it's the same on the other side. Tampa will want to run the ball. They have no other choice really. I'd imagine the Bucs probably like their three backs - Carnell Williams, Derrick Ward and Earnest Graham - about as much as the Cowboys like their trio. To me, it's not really a contest in comparison, but regardless, the Bucs have three backs they feel they can count on and that means they're going to use them. 

Tampa should have the same mentality when they have the ball. Pound away and see if it will open things up for a big play.  

There's no secret the Bucs will probably test Anthony Spencer early on. That's only natural. By now, everyone should know that DeMarcus Ware is just as good stopping the run as he is rushing the quarterback. Not good, great at both, actually.  

It only makes sense to test the other side. So Spencer will get challenged right away, as will guys like Spears and Olshansky. With the heat being a factor, the Cowboys will likely use a strong rotation that includes Jason Hatcher, Stephen Bowen and Junior Siavii.  

But the plan should be simple. Stop the run, and you'll win.  

In fact, the two priorities for Sunday's game in Tampa are the two oldest ones in all of football.  

Run the ball, and stop the run.  

There's not a junior high or high school coach that doesn't preach those things every week. It's no different in the NFL. Only this week, it's a little more prominent.  

So go ahead and keep an eye on Romo, Felix, Roy, Scandrick, Jenkins and Marion. What they do will be a huge factor in the outcome on Sunday. 

But you might want to check out those 10 big boys on the ball. That's where the game will be won.      

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