By John Helsley
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By now you’ve probably heard about how the defense dominated Saturday’s scrimmage.
How the offense struggled to move, let alone score.
Here’s the deal: don’t despair.
We could have predicted the offense’s troubles. The Cowboys were without Kendall Hunter (out of town attending a funeral), who changes everything, as both a player and a threat.
The line was without Lane Taylor, the only returning starter up front, who continues to take while healing from a minor leg/foot injury.
And, most of all, the defense is essentially cheating at this point.
“If we ran 50 plays today,” said quarterback Brandon Weeden, “I bet (linebacker Justin) Gent screamed out 25 of them. He was like, ‘Watch this, watch this…’ And he hit it right on the nose.
“It’s going to be harder for other teams.”
We’ve reached that point in the preseason, where the defense gains a decided edge. Defenders know all the offensive calls, they know the play signals from the sideline. So they know what’s coming.
“We’ve played against these guys spring, summer, fall,” Weeden said. “It makes it tougher on us. At the same time, we’ve got to execute.
“It’s that time of camp where the defense has the upper hand. I tell you what, we’re looking forward to playing somebody with a different color jersey.”
Weeden admits that it can get frustrating at times, to the point he’s tempted to go back in the dirt and draw up some sandlot play, just to mess with the defense.
“I do it every once in a while,” Weeden said. “I’ll throw some fake signals out there, whatever I can do to just throw a changeup.”
If anything, it would be a disappointment if the defense didn’t dominate. They did and that’s a good thing, even from Weeden’s vantage point.
“Give those guys credit, they’re flying around,” Weeden said. “The safeties, those guys on the corners, they look good. Hats off to them.
“It’s a team deal and it’s nice to see those guys have some success.”