Yesterday I posted some questions I answered from Drexel Perry of the excellent football blog Total Titans for the upcoming game on Sunday. Today I return the favor and answer a few questions for him.
1.How does the Dallas D matchup with the Titans O? What will Dallas do to contain Chris Johnson?
The Cowboys currently have the third best rushing defense in the NFL, and have yet to allow a rushing touchdown this season. We’ve held some top running backs in check so far, including Arian Foster who has 537 yards rushing compared to 354 yards for Johnson. I’m more worried about your passing offense than your rushing attack.
2. What’s the word on the Cowboys special teams? Kickoffs, FGs, etc?
On returns, we are ranked #1 in punt return yardage and #5 in kick return average thanks to rookies Owusu-Ansah and Dez Bryant. The return game had been a huge problem for the Cowboys in past seasons, but that seems to be behind us now. Our place kicker David Buehler got off to a rough start in his first two games with his new role and had two costly missed field goals. However he looked sharp against the Texans after making some adjustments during practice. Special teams has struggled in covering punt returns, but are ranked third in kickoff return coverage.
3. Felix Jones or Marion Barber: Which running back should the Titans fear the most?
Jones is definitely the most elusive of the two and can beat you in so many different ways. He is expected to get more snaps this weekend according to team owner Jerry Jones and coach Phillips. Marion Barber is a bruiser, and is dangerous at goal line situations and short yardage.
4. Dez Bryant or Roy Williams: Who is the better receiver at this point in their careers?
Williams is coming off of a career game with the Cowboys, but before that, he had been widely ineffective. Dez on the other hand, is electrifying and has great hands, but still needs to learn better routes to the ball. Still, I’d put the rookie ahead of Williams just based on his ability to break the game wide open if left uncovered. He also has great breakaway speed.
5. True or false: Tony Romo will pass for at least 300 yards against the Titans on Sunday.
I’m going to say false. Although Tony Romo has averaged over 300 yards passing per game, those numbers were compiled against three very poor pass rushes. I respect the Titans pass rush and would expect them to hold Romo to about 225 passing yards on Sunday, although I hope I’m wrong.
6. I was intrigued by Parcells drafting Ware and Spears in the first round when he changed to a 3-4. Is it fair to say that Ware has exceeded expectations and Spears has failed to meet expectations?
Yes. The Cowboys were looking for an explosive playmaker on defense when they selected Spears and Ware in 2005. While Ware has become one of the most intimidating linebackers in the NFL and a quarterbacks worst nightmare, Spears has been a little under whelming at times and somewhat brittle. He does have the occasional great game, but more often than not he is simply mediocre.
7. What has happened to Witten in the last two years? Has it been more than just injuries?
Witten is still a dangerous weapon for the Cowboys and is still Tony Romo’s favorite receiver. Last season, he had 94 catches for 1,035 yards and two touchdowns. This season, Witten suffered a concussion in week two while completing a 23-yard catch and being victimized by a vicious hit by the Bears safety Chris Harris. He has drawn a lot of double coverage which was very evident last week against the Texans before he left game with a sprained MCL. However, Witten still managed to haul in seven catches for 56 yards despite playing only one half. He is listed as probable, and should be a handful for your defense on Sunday.