Film breakdown: Things that have previously worked against the Cowboys probably won’t work this year

The last two years, the Eagles have been killing the Cowboys with a fairly basic counter trap play.  Here’s the play in the form of X’s and O’s:

Peters 0

Here’s how it works against a 3-4 set that the Cowboys run:

  • At the snap the running back will head to his right.
  • The LT gets a down block on the RDE (right defensive end), and tries to push him to the inside.
  • That leaves the ROLB with a free path, which he’ll typically pursue when he sees the running back initially running away from his side.
  • Meanwhile, the H-back (the TE lined up off the line of scrimmage), will head across the line to block the ROLB that has a free path.
  • When the running back takes the handoff, he’ll cut back to the left, follow his H-Back, and look to hit the hole in between the ROLB an the RDE.

In Week 14 in 2010, the Eagles had a 30-27 lead in a crucial NFC East game.  The Cowboys had just scored a TD, and the Eagles were trying to kill off the remaining 4 minutes on the clock.  They ran this play 4 times.  We’ll show you two of them.

As noted above, the LT (in this case Jason Peters) will block down on Cowboys’ DE Igor Olshansky. DeMarcus Ware will be the initially unblocked defender, and Clay Harbor will be the H-Back coming across to make the block on Ware:

Continued at the Allentown Morning Call…


  1. […] the Beast has a terrific article on “the play”. If you watched any Dallas-Philadelphia games in 2011, you’ll know […]

  2. Jimmy, you probably were not watching the Fox broadcast of this game, but Aikman was confused when the Eagles ran play-action off of this play and DeMarcus Ware crashed down the line right into Clay Harbor rather than take the direct path to the Eagles QB (can’t remember if it was Vick or Foles). Aikman obviously didn’t read your article.

    Anyway, MM may have won that particular battle with Rob Ryan, but the war…..

    1. Hmmm, missed that. I’ll keep an eye out when I watch that game with a focus on the Cowboys.

  3. David_Does_Dallas says:

    Great write-up. Thank you.

  4. Juz Sayin says:

    Seems everyone is on The Jimmy Johnson Bandwagon ,everyone loves Jimmy except in Miami,They remember Jerry”s Cowboys whippin Jimmy’s Phins,They remember Jimmy quit after the Jags spanked his tail 62 – 7

  5. Skinsational says:

    These are great Jimmy. Wish there were more people that did these for the Redsins.

    1. Mark Bullock. Writes for Hogs Haven. @UkRedskin1 on twitter. Better film breakdowns than mine.

      And thanks!

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