The Washington Redskins and Robert Griffin III torched the Dallas Cowboys defense last year. In the two games they played, the Redskins scored 66 points and a hobbled RGIII managed to score a rushing touchdown against the Cowboys in the division clinching game. In fact, the Redskins ran for 423 yards and five touchdowns in their two meetings with the Cowboys last season utilizing the read option offense.
Apparently those numbers haven’t scared the Cowboys defensive coaches into preparing for the read-option offense. Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne was on ESPN’s NFL 32 today and when he was asked how the Cowboys defense was preparing for the read-option, Claiborne said the defense hasn’t really prepared for it yet.
Claiborne did go on to say since the defense was learning a new scheme they were working on learning more of the fundamentals of the Tampa 2 but this is not the news Cowboys fans were hoping to hear. In their division alone the Cowboys face the Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles twice every season, both who will be running plenty of the read-option offense. And if the Cowboys are lucky enough to make it into the playoffs, there are a number of other teams who they could match-up with who run it.
Let’s also not forget that Monte Kiffin’s defense at USC had major problems stopping the same types of offenses last year, so it’s curious as to why the Cowboys defense hasn’t worked on studying the NFL’s hottest offensive trend yet? I’m guessing there are defensive coaches all across the league trying to figure out how to stop the read-option, but the Cowboys don’t seem to be one of them.
There’s no reason to panic yet, since there is plenty of time to work on stopping the read-option, and there is certainly nothing wrong with learning the fundamentals of a new scheme but the Dallas defense could be falling behind the learning curve. There is nothing wrong with Monte Kiffin and the defensive coaches taking their time to make sure their defense is implemented correctly, but it’s just a bit surprising they haven’t worked on figuring out how to slow the read-option offense.
The Dallas Cowboys defense is preparing for a better season in 2013 than they had in 2012, and hopefully that includes figuring out how to stop the read-option.