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Mailbag: What's The Best Strategy For Blocking Watt?


J.J. Watt is arguably the best defensive player in the NFL today. How do you see the offense handling him this Sunday?

Bryan: Their problem, in my opinion, when you play Watt is not what you do with him but what he does to you. I believe it's going to be difficult to match him for the simple reason that as much as he moves around, if you try to double him scheme-wise, he is going to have to make you adjust your protection each snap. What also makes this matchup difficult is that Romeo Crennel likes to bring pressure with his linebackers on blitzes, so the guards and backs have to focus their attention in that area instead of working in Watt's direction -- which sets him up for single blocks, and that is where he hurts you the most.

Rowan: With a lot of people. Luckily for the Cowboys, they probably won't have to worry about having to face Jadeveon Clowney as well on the other side. I'm sure Doug Free will see a lot of Watt, but they may move Watt around. This could be a day where Jason Witten stays in a ton. I'd be shocked to see Watt ever getting matched up one-on-one without some sort of help, whether it's a double team or a chip block. I think he's going to be the biggest handful this offensive line sees all year, and he'll have an effect on the game. But if there's one thing the Cowboys have done well, it's at least minimize the impact of a defensive line.

With Bryan's scouting report of Korey Toomer indicating he's a good fit as a strong side linebacker, do you think he might get some snaps -- particularly if Bruce Carter misses time with his quad strain?

Bryan:I sure did like Korey [embedded_ad] Toomer as a strong side linebacker, but it appears that this coaching staff sees him more as a Will. I have been waiting patiently for him to get more work during practice and the opportunity to show these coaches what he can do in a game, because there is no doubt in my mind that he has the ability to help this defense with his play.

Rowan: I'm at the point where I'll believe it when I see it. I really thought he'd get a lot more work than he has already, particularly when he was active for the games early on. Maybe it's because of his Seattle background, but I've been excited to see him on the field and know the scouting department was as well. I'm going to say they'll use some sort of an Anthony Hitchens/Kyle Wilber combo with Carter out, although I'd like to see what Toomer can do.

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