clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Terrell Owens In Motion Is Giving Bob Sanders Nightmares

New, comments

There have been a few different articles about Thursday's loss at Dallas that discussed how Dallas' strategy to send WR Terrell Owens in motion caused a lot of problems for the Packers. SI's Bucky Brooks has a detailed description of what went wrong for the Packers:

Dallas offensive coordinator Jason Garrett cleverly crafted a game plan that featured Terrell Owens motioning into the slot out of bunch formations to attack the Packers' aggressive defense on Thursday night. With Owens positioned in the slot, Garrett was able to take advantage of the Packers' linebackers, particularly A.J. Hawk, in space. T.O.'s 48-yard reception on a deep crossing route from the slot exploited the MIKE linebacker's role as the deep middle player in two-deep coverage. But the move of Owens into the slot also gave the Cowboys an effective counter to the Packers' press-man coverage as well. By using Owens as part of a mini-cluster formation, Garrett freed his superstar from tight coverage by using rubs or picks to get free releases at the line while forcing Green bay to switch assigned defenders. Though Owens wasn't the intended target on Patrick Crayton's second touchdown, the play illustrated the effectiveness of the rub and switch concept.
Football Outsiders also noticed that the Packers missed Woodson, but as much as Dallas was putting Owens into the slot to get a mismatch on a linebacker in coverage, they also did it because Woodson is the cornerback who covers the slot receiver and follows the receiver in motion. Instead CB Frank Walker played Woodson's role, and he's obviously a big step down. I would expect all of the Packers remaining opponents to exploit Woodson's absence as long as he is out.