The Dallas Cowboys on Saturday night defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in convincing fashion for the 2nd consecutive week. Last week they shutout Philly’s offense, winning 24-0 to secure the NFC East title, and then on Saturday night they logged a dominant 34-14 victory to advance to the Divisional Round of the NFC playoffs.
Dallas’ offense played well in both games, racking up 900 total yards of offense and 58 total points. But the output actually became overkill because of how great the Cowboys defense played. Holding an offense such as the Eagles to just 14 points in 2 games is an impressive accomplishment.
Paramount in the Cowboys defensive success against the Eagles was the effort of their defensive linemen, who registered 6.0 of the team’s 7.0 sacks in the 2 games. The unit is led by DE DeMarcus Ware, who had 11.0 sacks in the regular season and has 64.5 during his 5-year career.
Asked about the Cowboys defense on Sunday in the locker room following practice, Vikings C John Sullivan acknowledged the challenge ahead but also was confident in his team’s chances.
“We’ve got a big challenge ahead of us,” Sullivan said. “They’re a good defense; very physical, athletic front. But our coaches will put together a game plan that we’ll go out and execute and hopefully it’ll be successful.”
Part of Sullivan’s confidence is the experience the Vikings have gained this season in playing 3-4 defensive schemes, which is the unit Dallas features. The Vikings played a 3-4 front 3 times in the preseason and then 6 times in their first 8 games.
“They’re a 3-4 front by personnel and we’re preparing for all the looks they put on tape,” Sullivan explained. “We’re experienced against any front we could possibly see; I think we’ve seen them all this year. We’ll just go out there, run our normal 3-4 rules and if we can execute we should do well.”
Sullivan is drawing upon his experience in the regular season against the scheme Dallas runs. But this is the postseason, and Sullivan will be making his first career start at center in the postseason against the Cowboys on Sunday.
“Everybody says the tempo picks up a little bit in the postseason,” Sullivan said. “But I expect it’ll be like the first sixteen games of the season. I think guys play hard all the time; maybe I’m naïve to think that (laughter).
“I’m out there playing my hardest every week, so I assume the defensive guys are.”
Tags: John Sullivan
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