Eagles' Victory On Defense Comes Down to Blitzing

Written By Bob Cunningham On Wednesday, January 06, 2010

McDermott must be more aggressive for take 3.

I saw an article on GCobb.com the other day saying that it wasn't the absence of the blitz that hurt the Eagles as much as it was the absence of effective blitzing. Normally, I would agree with that assessment. I think that, overall, the Eagles have not done a very good job blitzing this season and that gap assignments need to be more emphasized.

However, when it comes to playing Tony Romo and the Cowboys, even an ineffective blitz is enough to rattle Romo.

Even in the 24-0 blanking the Eagles took last Sunday, it was quite evident that Romo still has a fear of the blitz and of being hit. All the Eagles had to do was have a man in arm's-length of him and he was willing to throw the ball up for grabs -- all to avoid any contact.

Watching that on film, it should become obvious what Sean McDermott and the defense must do this Saturday, and that's blitz every single down. It doesn't matter if it's effective or not, just seeing the blitz will get into Romo's head and cause mistakes.

It may be that deer-in-the-headlights look he'll get as he fumbles the ball away, or it could be an errant pass that falls into the arms of one of the Eagles' ballhawk defensive backs, but he will give the Eagles a chance for big plays on defense.

The one thing McDermott can not do (again) is sit back and allow him to have time to see the field. This is the NFL. If you give any quarterback, whether he's Peyton Manning or a third-stringer just signed from the UFL, time to sit back and comfortably see the defense, he's going to pick you apart.

The Eagles have now gone with this ineffective defensive scheme the last two times they've played the Cowboys. If they go with it a third time, they will once again be embarassed at the Jones-mahal. Romo will pick them apart, and Marion Barber and Felix Jones will stick the dagger through their collective heart.

Romo is not a good quarterback under pressure. Don't let him escape the pocket and get a guy in his face, on top of the atmosphere of a playoff game, and he will shut down entirely.

Quite honestly, if McDermott goes in with the same gameplan this week, win or lose, I'll be starting a movement to see that he's fired. Don't do this to us, Sean. Make JJ proud and blitz until Romo is crying for his mommy on the sidelines.

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