The Cowboys-Steelers matchup this past weekend was the most interesting game on tape, in my opinion, so I wanted to go back and take another look at it. I’m a little short on time today, so I only got through the first quarter. I should have more tomorrow. But here are two quick plays that caught my eye.
First, I loved this little deke move by LB Larry Foote on Nate Livings:
Foote is showing blitz:
At the snap, he backs off as if he’s dropping into coverage, as we see so often in the NFL today:
So Livings (#71), thinking that Foote has bailed, goes and blocks DE Brett Keisel instead, leaving a wide open lane for Foote to run through:
Meanwhile, Tyron Smith (#77) now has nobody to block, and Foote has a free run at Tony Romo:
Romo would Houdini his way out of that sack an throw incomplete to Dez Bryant.
Later in the first quarter, we really got to see how big a difference the Cowboys’ run game is with DeMarco Murray carrying the load instead of Felix Jones. Here’s Murray approaching the line of scrimmage, and the Cowboys have it blocked up OK, but there’s still a mess of bodies in the area and not a lot of room to run:
Murray slams into DE Brett Keisel:
..and the impact of that collision turns Murray’s body almost a full 180 degrees:
However, Murray keeps his balance, stays on his feet, and is able to bounce the play to the outside. Now he’s got something:
Troy Polamolu, a shell of his former self by the way, wants no part of going high on Murray:
And Murray has no intention of going down if DBs are going to make weak ankle-diving tackle attempts, so he leaves Polamolu in the dust and keeps chugging along:
Huge, tough run when there wasn’t much there. Gain of 28. First and Goal. I have not seen Felix Jones make those kinds of tough runs.