After the Redskins game, I noted that despite losing, Washington successfully exploited a weakness in Michael Vick’s game by blitzing him on almost every third down and goal line situation. Naturally, I expected Rob Ryan’s physical Cowboys defense to pursue a similar strategy last Sunday.
In some ways Dallas did mold their initial game plan around this strategy. Ryan often blitzed an extra defender off the edge and sometimes succeeded in getting pressure -- forcing Vick to make poor decisions. For example, they sacked Vick this way on the Eagles first play from scrimmage. He was also slightly less effective the whole night when the Cowboys brought at least one blitzer (all four sacks, yards per attempt down about one yard, completion percentage down more than 20 percent).
However, there are a few reasons why Ryan’s strategy failed to pay off against the Eagles offense.
For starters, LeSean McCoy. The Eagles running back is such an elite force that you have to respect him in your ...