5 ways LA Rams DC Brandon Staley attacks Cowboys in season opener

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LA Rams BRandon Staley
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A-gap blitzes

The Dallas Cowboys will have two of five offensive linemen starting for the team this year.  While they had some time to work together, there is no way they can be a well-oiled machine. And one of the first places defenses will test the offensive line’s ability to communicate and work together is by launching a linebacker into the A-gap.

The Rams will be sending both ILB Micah Kiser and Kenny Young onto the field when they go with a 3-4 base defense.  While they appear, on paper, to be solid run defenders., there is a reasonable amount of doubt over their ability to coexist side by side in the same defense. There is just no evidence of whether they will complement one another, or struggle to remain focused on their roles.

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Put the pressure on the offense

The Rams can be a bit more proactive in their defense by using a healthy dose of A-gap blitzes.  The Rams can send their nose tackle to take on the guard head-on while sending a linebacker to take on the other guard head-on.  After diagnosing the play, both defenders shed their blockers to make the play.

If the Cowboys scoot through both defenders, the Rams still have another linebacker in place to make the play.  Of course, that is on a running play. If it was a passing play? Then the Cowboys suddenly have a center uncovered, and four offensive linemen engaged in blocks. While that may not seem like a win for the Rams, keep in mind that places Aaron Donald against a single blocker. Not just one blocker, but likely one who is still trying to learn the job.