The Vikings defensive line put up some big numbers this season, racking up 38.5 of the team’s NFL-leading 48 sacks. This Sunday at Mall of America Field, though, the Vikings defensive line will have a big challenge on their hands.
The Dallas Cowboys bring with them an offensive line that is among the NFL’s largest. From LT to RT, here are their sizes: 6-7, 338 pounds; 6-5, 307 pounds; 6-4, 318 pounds; 6-6, 353 pounds; 6-8, 318 pounds.
“I’ll tell ya, they are huge across the board,” Vikings assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said. “From Leonard Davis to (Mark) Colombo, those are some big, big men; and Flozell (Adams). That’s a tremendous challenge for every defense that lines up against them to defend the run and find a way to get around those guys. They are huge.”
As large as the Cowboys linemen are and as well as they’ve been playing over the past 4 games, the Vikings defensive line will certainly relish the challenge rather than succumb to the pressure. The Vikings boast 2 All-Pros in DE Jared Allen – who has 14.5 sacks on the season – and DT Kevin Williams. Plus, DE Ray Edwards is coming off the best regular season of his career and DT Pat Williams will be rested and ready after missing a game toward the end of the season with an elbow ailment.
On top of the quality starting talent the Vikings possess, they’ll also benefit on Sunday from adequate depth that is provided by players such as DE Brian Robison and DTs Fred Evans, Letroy Guion and Jimmy Kennedy.
The fact that the Vikings have the right personnel to give the Cowboys offensive line a good battle is key because, as Frazier told reporters on Thursday, relying on schemes to defeat Dallas powerful offensive line is not the way to go.
“There are some things that you can do at times, but in general, you look at anybody that’s played against them, and sometimes it’s just a guy winning in a one-on-one situation,” Frazier said. “And that’s really what our league is for the most part. If you’re personnel is not up to snuff, you’re going to probably fall short.
“You can only trick people for so long in this game and at some point you’ve got to line up and play football and go man-on-man sometimes.”
Tags: Leslie Frazier
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