Does Size Matter?

IRVING, TX. - Marco Rivera breaks down Sunday's game against Detroit with The Ranch Report.

The interior of the Dallas offensive line faces its biggest challenge of the season this Sunday against the Detroit Lions.


Because that's where defensive tackles Dan Wilkinson and Shaun Rogers cover enormous tracts of land with their identical 6-foot-4, 340-pound frames. Thanks to the Oakland Raiders somehow listing Warren Sapp at 300 pounds (and if that's accurate, Drew Bledsoe is 150), Rogers and Wilkinson do represent the 'biggest' challenge of the 2005 season.

"Yeah, they're huge," guard Marco Rivera said. "You've just got to push on them, try to open up some cracks and let the running backs do their thing."

Rivera is the Cowboys' reigning expert on Detroit, having faced the Lions twice a year as a member of the Green Bay Packers.

"The thing about Detroit -- and I know them well, from when I was in Green Bay -- they're big on defense, and they're really as tough as we'll face all year," Rivera said. "When you play Detroit, you can expect a hard, physical game -- it's going go be a physical game Sunday."

Rivera said that the idea that Rogers and Wilkinson are nothing but immovable forces is far from accurate.

"They're both (340), but they both can run, too," Rivera said. "They're big enough that we've almost got to play a perfect game as an offensive line to be successful."

Ironically, Rivera said he almost became a Lion in the offseason. As a free agent, he considered Dallas and Detroit before signing with the Cowboys.

"I know (Detroit) Coach (Steve) Mariucci, and I respect him a lot," Rivera said. "And I know their G.M., Matt Millen. We're both 'Penn Staters.'

"To me, it came down to a chance to be coached by Bill Parcells. I grew up in New York, with his Giants teams. I got a chance to play for (Penn State) Coach (Joe) Paterno, and he's a great coach. I got to play for (former Green Bay) Coach (Mike) Holmgren, and he's a great coach. Now I have another chance to play for another great coach."

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