OKINAWA, JAPAN, TX
Is it me or did Kyle Wilber look very natural at the strong side linebacker? He over pursued on some plays but how do you look that fluid with only a week's of practice? I think the Cowboys have found a new home for #51.
David:I'm not going to pretend to have the same level of expertise as the Cowboys' coaching staff, but I always thought it seemed foolish to try to turn Wilber into a defensive end. He weighs roughly 10 pounds lighter than DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer, who were linebackers in the 3-4 defense, and he's as much as 30 or 40 pounds lighter than George Selvie and Jarius Wynn, who are more traditional 4-3 defensive ends. It'll be interesting to see how well he picks up the position, since most of his experience at linebacker is from 3-4, not 4-3. But I like his odds of making an impact at [embedded_ad] linebacker way more than as a lineman.
Rowan: He was the most surprising part of Sunday's game to me. He looked good and played well enough for Jason Garrett to say the coaching staff needs to reevaluate their initial thoughts of moving the player to defensive end from linebacker in the offseason. He always seemed to me a little stiff for linebacker in the 3-4 but a little light to turn into a star at defensive end. He played better Sunday then I'd ever seen him in a Cowboys uniform.
FORT SILL, OK
It was encouraging to see this defense finally stand up to a serviceable air attack...What can we do in the meantime with containing the run? We got two big pieces of the puzzle back, and I know it helps having Sean Lee instead of Ernie Sims, but in the meantime, what can we do to improve?
David: Oakland's combination of quarterback and receivers has got to be one of the least intimidating groups the Cowboys have faced this season, in my opinion. As well as the Raiders run the ball, I think the ideal scenario would be for the Cowboys to take their receivers out of the game using as few men as possible. That doesn't seem like a huge ask – Rod Streater is averaging 3.6 catches per game, and Denarius Moore doesn't look likely to play. If Dallas can stack the box with eight or nine men and rely on Orlando Scandrick and Brandon Carr to prevent any major passing gains, you'd like to think they can keep the ground game from going too crazy.
Rowan: You said it. It's going to be rough stopping the run without Sean Lee. They weren't great at it with him, but they're a ton worse without him. That said, the Raiders don't offer the same offensive threats that the Cowboys have seen in past weeks. Matt McGloin is just beginning his career, and it seems like a feasible option for the defense to stack the box and use a lot more safety help to make sure the dangerous Raiders backs don't break too many loose. This is a team you try to let beat you through the air rather than the ground, which couldn't be said for a lot of the Cowboys' past opponents.