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Scout's Eye: Dallas Can't Be Afraid To Test Sherman


IRVING, Texas– Any time the Seahawks play, there is going to be a lot of attention paid to Richard Sherman – and rightfully so. In this week's matchups preview, I wrote about how I think the Cowboys

need to handle the All-Pro corner.

On top of that, as we've already talked about, I think Rolando McClain's availability is going to play a big role in how the Dallas defense fares.

Here are this week's matchups:

Cowboys wide receivers against Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman

There are those in the league that believe that, as an offense, you don't challenge Richard Sherman during a game.

I have come to the belief that you do have to make him play in this game, and going away from him eliminates half of the field your offense has to work with. I am not willing to sacrifice that, especially with the offensive weapons on this team.

I am not saying I don't respect Sherman as a player, because he does play with some outstanding traits -- like his key and diagnose -- but there are also some areas where you can take advantage of the way he plays. I do not see a player that has great long speed, which means the farther you carry him down the field, the harder it is for him to keep up.

It happens on routes across the field, as well. There are snaps where you see him chasing the receiver in the route and there is separation, which should lead to some plays in the passing game. The Cowboys should not be afraid of lining any of their receivers across from Sherman, especially Dez Bryant – who, when he comes off the ball knows how to use his size to his advantage while running his routes and in the air as well. [embedded_ad]

Cowboys Linebacker Rolando McClain against Seahawks Running Back Marshawn Lynch

I believe that the Seahawks are going to test this Cowboys defense very early in this game to see where they are in regards of defending the run. How the Cowboys answer that challenge will tell us a great deal about the potential direction of the contest.

The Seahawks will run the ball in various ways, but it all starts with Marshawn Lynch and his ability to wear defenses down with his style. He might not be the type of back that is going to beat you with his home run speed or quickness, but he is just a load to have to deal with when he is coming down hill with the ball in his hands. When Lynch really has it going, the Seahawks are able to run their play action game off it with Russell Wilson and it makes them even more difficult to defend.

What we have seen from this Cowboys defense in regard to defending the run -- it has been with Rolando McClain stepping up and handling things at the point of attack and outside on the edges. McClain has the physical strength and power to be able to match Lynch blow-for-blow and work to keep him in check.

The Cowboys cannot allow Marshawn Lynch to physically pound the football at them and expect to have success on defense. This will be a match up that we all need to pay very close attention to.  

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