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Mailbag: Can Dallas Limit Wilson's Running Ability?

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DONALD STUBBS
TATUM, SC

Do you think this defense will be able to contain Russell Wilson better than Washington?

Bryan: What I have learned about playing Seattle is that even when you have all their guys covered, the quarterback will find a way to get you. Their Chargers game from earlier in the year showed me a great deal. If you can build a lead and take the run element out of his game, you have a much better shot of controlling him. The Chargers played with outstanding discipline in the way they rushed him. They pushed the middle of the pocket but never were too far up the field on the edges so when he tried to spin out of the pocket he went right into a rushers arms. The idea in trying to defend Wilson is making him go backwards instead of laterally or forward, because when he is playing that way he is unable to get much on the ball.   

David: If ever there was a game where they'd want both Bruce Carter and Rolando McClain on the field, this might be it. I'm not sure the defensive line is talented enough to do this all on their own, and I'd want some fast, physical linebackers there to limit Wilson and Marshawn Lynch to five and six yard runs, rather than 15 and 20 yard runs. It seems unlikely that Carter will be available, but McClain might be. It's going to take a great effort from all of the linebackers to help keep those guys in check.

JUSTIN HARSHMAN
LOVETTSVILLE, VA

Is DeMarcus Lawrence the missing piece to our pass rush?

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Bryan: The film has shown that the pressure has been good, but the defense has not been rewarded with sack numbers. If they continue to play this way I believe you will see them finish more plays and we will see those sacks.  With all that being said, there is no doubt that Lawrence would help this pass rush and if all goes well you will hopefully see him have that opportunity for these last eight games.  

David: I feel iffy about calling a rookie who hasn't practiced since July "the missing piece." It remains to be seen how well conditioned he is, and we also don't know how well he can get back into the groove of practice, let alone games. Adding him into the mix certainly can't hurt the defensive line, though. Best-case scenario, he sparks the pass rush and has an incredibly impressive rookie season. Worst-case scenario, he's another fresh guy who can join the rotation. I don't think the Cowboys can lose in this situation, but I'm not expecting Lawrence to look like that other DeMarcus right off the bat.

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