11 October 2011
Heading into Foxboro this Sunday, the Cowboys will have something they haven’t had yet this season, a complete set of cornerbacks. Orlando Scandrick returned to practice on Monday, Terrence Newman has played the last two games and Mike Jenkins continues to battle through all his injuries. It’s a good thing these three are ready to go because they are going to be needed this weekend, along with Gerald Sensabaugh and Abe Elam because the New England Patriots are a serious threat when it comes to passing the ball.
Through five games, Wes Welker has proved to the Patriots how valuable his services are because he leads the NFL in receiving yards. In fact, his 740 yards so far this season is the most accrued through five NFL games ever. To think Miami gave up Welker for a second and seventh round pick in 2007 (Samson Satele and Abraham Wright). You’re probably saying “who?” right about now, I know I did when I looked up who they got in return.
Welker has made himself a house hold name and his numbers over the last few years have been good but this year, they are off the charts. He’s averaging 16 yards a reception and already has 5 Touchdowns to go along with his 740 yards. To put that in perspective, Witten leads the Cowboys in most yards received with 366 and Austin leads the team in Touchdowns with 4. Does shutting down Wes Welker mean putting a huge dent into the Patriots abilities on offense? Is it possible to shut down Wes Welker?
The Cowboys will need to do a fantastic job of stopping the underneath and across the middle routes. Looking at the breakdown, it appears that this is where Brady finds Welker a lot. In order to create this space, look for the Patriots to occupy Sean Lee (James and Brooking when Lee is not out there) with their two tight ends. If they are successful, it will be up to Scandrick, Jenkins and Newman to try and stop the underneath option. The key with disrupting any offense is to try and put pressure on the QB but Welker is so quick that the defense will have to be prepared for what he brings to the Patriot offense.
This will certainly be a test for the Dallas defense but I do feel better about it knowing that the guys we need to be in there, will be in there.
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