X's & O's with Eddie Mason: Dallas

I thought this game would be won in the trenches so that's where I had my eyes. We've been giving a lot of hype to this line but we can't keep putting them in the same breath as the Hogs. These guys are not the Hogs. And what we've done is confused Joe Gibbs' past with the present and this is a whole other era.

At the point of attack they're not able to drive people back. There were a lot of times where they were missing blocks and it's because I don't think they're on the same page. For example, when La'Roi Glover got his sack I was watching the line. Derrick Dockery was on Glover. He's their pass blocker and Mark Brunell is in the pocket.

There are some basic rules that, even if you're on punt team, you're taught never to let a man get a straight line of attack. Dallas was bringing an outside blitzer on this play. So Dockery comes off La'Roi, knowing that he is the most dangerous threat. The guy blitzing outside has a longer way to go so he's not the most dangerous threat.

But Dockery still left La'Roi and that tells me that there are communication breakdowns. It's not a lack of talent or that Dockery can't block La'Roi. He did a good job on him for most of the night, but that play tells me there are communication breakdowns. I don't want to directly blame Coach Bugel because I know what type of coach he is and what type of person he is. But I don't know if this line has worked together long enough.

Another play showed why the Redskins still need Micheal Barrow. Let's go to the first play when Eddie George scores. Where do you think they were going to run? It was automatic, a no-brainer. They were going to run to the right side of the line. Why didn't we have everyone loaded down to the other side? They're not going to run a counter with Eddie George. He's not that style of runner. He's one step and he's going downhill.

I'm trying to figure out why they didn't slide the linebackers. It didn't look like they cheated over. In fact, Antonio Pierce was so far to the left that he couldn't even get over there to make penetration. Then at the point of attack they just drove us off the ball.

Antonio should have been cheated over to that side knowing they were coming that way. You knew they were going to go to Larry Allen's side. They don't pull him much anymore.

Those are things that come with experience. Nothing against Antonio -- he's played well since he's been in there -- but I still feel that when Barrow gets back and healthy that the defense will take another step because of his leadership and experience. He would know that, 'We made this call, but I still need to cheat over and recognize tendencies.' That's been the rule of thumb since Larry has been in Dallas, especially in goal-line situations.

Eddie Mason is a co-director of M.A.S.E. Training, which helps athletes with their physical and spiritual training. For more information visit masetraining.com.

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