Cowboys 6 Man Pressure Gets Home

By FirstDown PlayBook on Dec 5, 2022
All 22 Tuesday

The Dallas Cowboys saved the best for last in their game against the Colts this weekend. The fourth quarter was an explosion of points in an otherwise decently close game. The All 22 play we are featuring today, however is a Cowboys 6 man pressure that got to Matt Ryan in the second quarter. It was one of four sacks by the Cowboys on the night.

The match up should have added up better for the Colts on this sack. After all, they had a protection back in the backfield and obviously five offensive linemen to protect. Any offensive line coach will tell you that communication is critical for that unit. At the higher levels of football like the NFL, this often bleeds over into the receivers and backs as well.

The Cowboys Were Probably Thinking This When They Called 6 Man Pressure

When you look at this 6 man pressure from the defensive side of the ball, you have to think the Cowboys were expecting one of three things. Either the protection back was going to protect in his near A gap. This would still be advantage Cowboys. You never want your back blocking a defender in the A gap if you can avoid it.

This 6 man pressure from the Cowboys got home quick and in the A gap.

The second scenario would have the left side of the Colts line squeezing the A & B gaps to block #9 and #90. This still puts the protection back on a huge defensive end #92. That’s not exactly the winning formula either but at least it’s a perimeter rush. The running back could try to run the end around the pocket.

The third thing that could have happened is that the Colts’ center could have turned the other way. This would have him block #9 from the Cowboys. It would have made sense and odds are that is really what Dallas was trying to get with the 6 man pressure. This way the protection back would have to redirect to block #42. Is it in the A gap again? Yes, but at least that linebacker was coming from depth.

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As is often the case in football, none of these things happened. What happened was that the protection back was so in tune to helping the left tackle with a chip that he forgot that he could only chip if it was a 5 man rush. The moment he stepped out wide to help #79, Matt Ryan was in a bad way.

This 6 man pressure from the Cowboys got home quick and in the A gap.

Now there may be more to it than this because it looks like #17 from the Colts was looking hot and was basically wide open if Ryan had seen him. He really never had a chance because when a rusher comes free in the A gap…well tap on the two diagrams and see for yourself. This all goes back to everyone being on the same page and executing their assignments.

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We have given you two different views of this week’s All 22 play for a reason. This Cowboys 6 man pressure is like a lot of plays. There is a lot to be learned from both the offensive view and the defensive view. We see so many coaches and wanna be coaches on social media drawing defensive scheme from the offensive side of the ball. As one old ball coach told me a long time ago, “That’s just offensive as hell”. Yes, the pun was intended.

Jud Keim