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Mailbag: Learning From Seattle's Game Against Philly; Importance Of Pass Rush

Without a consistent pass rush, opposing quarterbacks have too much time to find receivers. How far can Dallas go without that consistent rusher?

Bryan: I don't believe it's about one rusher. If teams wanted to take a rusher away, they could. They did it with DeMarcus Ware all the time. What you should focus on is the pressure, which, earlier in the season they did a much better job of generating. These next two weeks you play teams with better offensive lines and if you get into the playoffs it only gets tougher.  

David: As usual, this team is only going to go as far as its offense carries it. The Cowboys have had games where they've been successful at disrupting the quarterback, but they tend to come against bad teams. The last time this pass rush got home on a consistent basis was probably Jacksonville. Down this final stretch, it looks like they'll need to pull some trick out of the bag.


What was it that Seattle's defense was able to do to slow down the quick pace of Philly's offense? What will Rod Marinelli have to do differently in order to get his defense to slow them down as well?

Bryan:It's personnel -- that's the bottom line. Seattle has better players on defense and that will always be the difference in these types of games. Look what they did against the Broncos in the Super Bowl and the Eagles on Sunday. If you have a four man pass rush and a secondary that doesn't allow space and as a unit tackles well you are going to win a ton of games. Dallas has played this way on defense two times this season – New Orleans and Seattle. They will need to have that type of game on Sunday if they are going to win.   

David: On the main point, I agree with Bryan. Simply put, the Seahawks have a better defense than the Cowboys do – that part is pretty simple. Like he said, though, we've seen this defense play fast and disruptive before. If there's anything encouraging about the Chicago game, at least the first three quarters of it, it's that the defense looked like the aggressive unit from the first half of the season – defenders flying to the ball on every play. They were also able to make Matt Forte a non-factor in the running game. If they can tackle well and limit big runs against the Eagles, that'd certainly be a start.

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