FOREST GROVE, OR
We were very effective running against the Rams. Was this a result of the addition of Brian Waters, the play calling, or DeMarco Murray's routine against the Rams?
David: Call it a cop out, but it seems like one of those questions that needs a larger sample size to answer. The Chiefs defense that stymied the running game has been one of the best in football through three weeks, but the Rams' defensive front was pretty highly regarded until Murray decimated it. We'll see how they maintain going forward, but having three quality guards (Waters, Mackenzy Bernadeau and Ronald Leary) available can't hurt.
Rowan: I'll say mostly a combination of the entire offensive line and the play-calling, as well as Murray hitting the cutback. He wasn't getting touched in the backfield really at all. I don't think it's just a result of Waters being in there, because Murray was effective even when Mackenzy Bernadeau was running with the starters. The rotation they have at guard seems to be working, though, and Bill Callahan balanced the attack well throughout the game. When the Rams needed to stop the run, the offense beat them on the outside. We haven't seen a rushing attack like Sunday's in a long time, and it wasn't against a terrible run defense, either.
Is it safe to say at this point that if George Selvie does not have any major setbacks, he becomes the replacement for Anthony Spencer, eliminating the need to draft high at the defensive end position? [embedded_ad]
David: It feels really early to make a call like that. Selvie is off to a great start, but there are still 13 games to play. On top of that, even with Selvie, the depth at defensive end is not great. The Cowboys hope Tyrone Crawford will pick up where he left off following his Achilles injury, but that remains to be seen. Spencer seems almost guaranteed to be playing elsewhere next season, and DeMarcus Ware has just two years left on his contract. Even if Selvie maintains his level of play, the pass rush is still something the Cowboys will need to be mindful of going forward.
Rowan: Selvie's been one of the biggest surprises of the season, but we're only three games in. It's still possible Spencer gets healthy midway through the year and returns to old form. It's also possible this knee injury is a recurring problem throughout the year and he's never fully healthy. We don't have that answer yet. If Selvie can keep this pace, though, it will certainly make the Cowboys comfortable with him starting next year. He at least provides an insurance policy should the Cowboys not take a defensive end early on in next season's draft. Spencer's injury let the Cowboys know what exactly they had in Selvie.