Like I did for the Saints game against the Patriots, I've saved our usual "Interview with the Enemy" series for game day. This week I had the pleasure of quizzing blogger extraordinaire and leader of SB Nation's NFL division, Dave Halprin from Blogging the Boys.
I will admit that I'm a bit nervous about the outcome of this game but judging by the answers Dave shared with me, I needn't be. Read on to see what he had to say about Roy Williams' big mouth, the Cowboys running back rotation and the future of Wade Phillips.
CSC: Do fans feel as confident as Roy Williams about this game?
BTB: Not even close. Most Cowboys fans that I talk to are very nervous about the outcome of the game based on what we've seen over the past few weeks when we lost to the Giants and the Chargers. With this game being on the road, against an undefeated team, and could go a long way towards determining our playoff future, I don't see how anybody is as confident as Roy. That's not to say I don't think we can win, I think we stand a fair chance of winning, but I wouldn't bet my house on it.
CSC: The Cowboys have an offense almost as impressive as the Saints but inconsistent. Which offense do you expect to show up this weekend and how can they be shut down?
BTB: Teams with good secondaries have the ability to hold the Cowboys offense in check. Green Bay did an excellent job with their two talented corners taking away the outside recieving threats and were able to gang up on Jason Witten. They also did an excellent job of disguising blitzes and timing them perfectly. If you have good cover corners, that goes a long way to slowing down our offense. The running game can be very good, or bad, and it's hard to determine how they'll play from game to game. Luckily, Tony Romo has been playing good football this year with minimal turnovers, so he hasn't been the problem. If you can take away Miles Austin and Roy Williams, we struggle to put points on the board.
CSC: Give us a run down of how the Cowboys use their impressive running back rotation and what the Saints defense can expect?
BTB: As noted above, the Cowboys running game can be inconsistent. Some weeks, we can run at will, other games, we have to abandon it and go to the pass. It's really tough to figure out beforehand which version will show up. Marion Barber is the bruiser, Felix Jones is the homerun hitter. But Felix hasn't looked quite the same since he injured his knee earlier in the season. Tashard Choice is the third-down back and he'll also take over sometimes in the Cowboys version of the Wildcat. Look for the draw play when the Cowboys are lined up in the shotgun, it's one of their favorite plays and one of their most effective.
CSC: What is it about Wade Phillips that causes so much ire among Cowboy fans? Would taking down the undefeated Saints in the middle of December change that outlook at all?
BTB: I think Cowboys fans have 'so much ire' just because we keep failing in Dec/Jan. It's not exclusive to Wade Phillips, a lot of the fanbase turned on Bill Parcells because of similar problems winning in the December and the post-season. Beating the Saints would help, but the only thing that could really help Wade at this point is to make a deep-run in the playoffs. Otherwise, he won't survive the offseason.
CSC: Tell us something about the Cowboys that most fans would not know.
BTB: Way back in the 90s, there was once a team from Dallas that ruled the NFL. They were the 800-pound gorillas. I bet you guys didn't know that! Ha, just kidding, seriously, I'm not sure I can come up with anything about the Cowboys that you don't know.
CSC: Bonus: Care to make a prediction?
BTB: My only prediction, the Cowboys will actually show up for the game, I mean, they will be physically present. After that, all bets are off.