Five Cowboys Questions with Blogging the Boys

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Leading up to Sunday's Chargers game, I had a few questions about the Dallas Cowboys. I asked David Halprin, Managing Editor of Blogging the Boys, if he'd be willing to answer them for me and he was nice enough to oblige. Thanks, David!

Is DeMarcus Ware going to play on Sunday?

David: Yes, he will. He's had stingers in the past couple of games that have sidelined him for a few plays, but it's not something that is going to keep him out of the game. The Cowboys just want to limit his contact during the week. He used some new padding on his neck in the second half of last week's game and that seemed to help. He's going to suit up on Sunday.

Bigger addition to the 2013 Cowboys defense: Monte Kiffin, Rod Marinelli or Sean Lee?

David: That's a tough call but right now I'm going to go with Rod Marinelli. Having Sean Lee back from injury is a big help and he's a player in the middle. Monte Kiffin's new defensive scheme seems to have settle down the Cowboys, they are adjusting well to it and are causing more turnovers. But the change in the defensive line has been huge. The Cowboys are playing without Anthony Spencer and Jay Ratliff yet are still second in the NFL in sacks. And they are not getting those from overloading with blitzes, they have been very judicious with blitzes. Jason Hatcher has taken a big step forward under Marinelli. George Selvie was a street free agent signed during training camp and is playing excellent ball. Nick Hayden is holding down the middle and limiting the run. And Ware is still Ware. Marinelli has the front four playing outstanding ball.

How has Jason Garret's role changed now that he's not calling the offensive plays? Has it affected his game management at all?

David: That's a tough one to answer. The Cowboys appear to be an improved bunch this season in the small sample so far. He hasn't made any in-game decisions that seem like huge mistakes. When the Cowboys found themselves going pass-heavy against the Chiefs, he probably should have stepped in then, but at least he made sure to correct that during the week leading up to the Rams game. How much his role has changed is hard to judge from the outside but the Cowboys do seem more together and confident during games. He used his timeouts very well against the Chiefs at the end, even though they still lost.

Are there any running backs on this team that can fill DeMarco Murray's shoes when the inevitable midseason injury happens?

David: The Cowboys have some talent at running back. Lance Dunbar is the change of pace guy and he may see some action on Sunday. He's quick and can be a threat if he gets the ball in space. Philip Tanner is a bruising back with a very physical style, but he's not a lumbering back, he does have some wiggle. Joseph Randle is the rookie back who is learning and we're just not sure what he is yet.

If you were the Chargers, what game plan would you use against the Cowboys?

David: I would make the Cowboys one-dimensional by limiting the run. The Cowboys can struggle if they have to pass all the time and if they are missing Miles Austin that would make the strategy even better. Make Dallas throw short, keep everything in front of the defense and hope they make a mistake through turnover or penalty. On offense, make sure you get the pass rush blocked. Go to max protect if you have to because the Cowboys do leave holes open in their zone defense. I'd also test rookie J.J. Wilcox who will be starting only his second game at safety.

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