Stop Gap

Marcus Spears is once again showing why he's one of the team's most important defenders.

expression looked like he'd just ate some bad fish.  

Stopping the run is the key to this 3-4 defense, the Steelers' 3-4 defense, the old Cowboys' 4-3 scheme, the University of Wisconsin defense or the defense of Plano Senior High here in North Texas.  

Stopping the run is the key to any defense, any scheme under any coordinator.  

And the Cowboys are fortunate to have that guy in Marcus Spears. 

If you watched during the preseason, particularly in the Texans game, the Cowboys were getting gashed up and down the field. Would've been nice to have Spears out there. 

In these first three games, the Cowboys have shored up the run defense, and it's certainly not a coincidence that Spears has returned to action. In fact, looking at some of the big runs Houston got on the Cowboys last Sunday, they occurred on third-and-long situations when Spears wasn't even in the game. 

No offense to Bowen and Hatcher, who are vital in providing a very good rotation on the line. They actually are better pass-rushers and that's why they play more on third downs and other passing plays.  

But against the run, there's a reason why Spears has remained the starter every year he's been here. He doesn't get the stats, but that's how it goes for that position. His stat is making sure the Cowboys stay among the leaders in the league against the run, like they've been consistently over the last five years. With Spears healthy again, look for that to remain the norm around here once again.  

And for Spears, playing in a contract season, just like his two backups are, it's a perfect time for him to be standing out like he is.          

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