It sure seems that as the season goes on, the pass protection is pretty decent on a play by play basis. But, like the Eagles game and several other before it, there is a snap or two over the course of the game where the Cowboys don't get beat physically as much as they get beat by a scheme. I am not suggesting this makes them any more remarkable in a good or bad way, just that blitzing schemes in this league are rather complex and there will be times where you are just going to get beat.
Play #7 - "S11" - 3/10/W20 - SACK by Doughty
What Happened: This is an awfully interesting concept from Jim Haslett here. It is 3rd and 10, and the Cowboys have their "S11" package out where they have 2 WRs to the left and a WR and Witten to the right. In pre-snap, it is rather amusing to watch Kitna try to call out the "Mic", which is supposed to be the Mic LB to set the protection. There are some things I honestly do not comprehend when I see it, and this is one of them. The Mic is supposed to be the exact middle of the defense so the center can then see where they must all begin to see their blocking responsibilities based on the "middle" of the defense. It is actually more complicated than it looks, but how they decided that #37 is the Mic since he is standing outside Doug Free at LT is something I don't quite understand. Perhaps it is a dummy call, but we will never know. Anyway, here comes the interesting concept; Look at the Redskins before the snap. They are showing 7 players in the "box" who are not appearing to be covering anyone. Then, an eighth is lined up over 17-Sam Hurd (22-Rogers) who actually blitzes at the snap. So, the Redskins drop several of the guys who look like they may be blitzing (including the DE over Colombo) and rush guys who you would not expect. Watch the 22-Rogers, 37-Doughty blitz stunt. I cannot swear I have seen a stunt between a Cornerback and a Safety before, but here, 22-Rogers cuts inside to occupy Doug Free and that allows Doughty to run free and hit Kitna. It seems if they had known what was coming, they would have moved Felix to that side, but as it stands, it looks like the Redskins just called a blitz that the Cowboys had no answer for.
Play #57 - "12" - 1/10/20 - SACK by Holiday
What Happened: Before we go into this, I would like to blame Fox for both missing the play live and not providing a reasonable replay. Because of that, a lot of this is now guess work. But, it looks like 6-man protection against a 5-man rush with a middle LB on a bit of a delay blitz. I am not overly comfortable assigning blame here, but I believe if you look at the grainy footage enough times you can see Kyle Kosier allowing his first sack of the season to Vonnie Holiday. Anthony Bryant is also working on Leonard Davis and Andre Gurode and gets there at the end. Meanwhile, the inside LB blitz defeats Felix Jones rather handily. But, we do have to assign the sack to the guy who allows it, so assuming I am not missing anything as Fox runs a promo during a play, this one is Kosier's 1st busted pass protection of the year.
Season To Date Sacks
The season totals for Sacks Allowed: Davis 4.5, Free 4.5, Coverage 3.5, Colombo 3.5, Kitna 3, Costa 2, Gurode 1, Jones 1, Witten 1, Kosier 1.
Bob Sturm is host of BaD Radio on The Ticket 1310 AM Mondays through Fridays at 12-3 p.m. He also hosts The Ticket's Cowboys pregame show. Follow Bob on Twitter at
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