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Redskins-Cowboys matchups: Redskins outside linebackers vs. Cowboys offensive tackles

One position on this Redskins team that I have confidence in is outside linebacker. It just so happens that one of the Redskins' strengths is matched up against one of Dallas's biggest question marks -- the offensive tackles.

Both tackles for the Cowboys are first-year starters, unproven and untested. Robert Brewster has one year in the NFL but was on the injured reserve list last year. Doug Free has four years in the NFL but no real game experience, especially as a starter. Both are tall -- Free is 6-6, Brewster 6-4 -- and each is listed at 320 pounds, which means they most certainly will struggle with the speed and strength of Washington's outside linebackers.

Can these young tackles protect Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo in the passing game? Will they be effective in the run game? Will their youth and inexperience be a factor in this game?

Brian Orakpo is coming off of a Pro Bowl year at a new position for him. Andre Carter easily could have joined Orakpo in the Pro Bowl. Both had very productive years, with high numbers in the sack column. Both are gifted pass rushers and strong against the run. Will Orakpo and Carter be able to take advantage of these inexperienced tackles? Can they provide the pressure from the edges to make Romo uncomfortable? Can they force Romo into turnovers?

In my opinion, the edge clearly goes to the Redskins linebackers. These guys have far too much talent, strength, speed and experience over the Cowboys' young offensive tackles.

So far, I have the key matchups tied at one apiece. Please stay tuned for more of my Redskins vs. Dallas matchups! And don't forget to check out "Redskins Insider Live," our weekly webcast where Rick Maese, Dan Steinberg and I talk about Sunday night's Cowboys game.

By LaVar Arrington  |  September 7, 2010; 1:54 PM ET
 
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Comments

Beautiful! My favorite subject- defense! Oh oh, what about LaRon Landry?? I know Haslett will include him in blitz packages and could have a big game.

Posted by: RedCherokee | September 7, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Strength, speed and experience in the OLB's wow!! you got me on that one LaVar. Carter is a ? at best playing the position, Orakpo is new to the LB position period, played there last year in a 4-3 defense. Refresh me LaVar, it's obvious I'm missing something.

Posted by: MHEDRLT | September 7, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Newsflash: Colombo is practicing this week and is slated to play on the right side Sunday. If he can't go, then the Cowboys will play Alex Barron at right tackle (he's the "swing tackle" to be used if either of the starting tackles can't play). That means -- you guessed it -- Robert Brewster is the 3rd string tackle and will only see the field during kicks and/or if one of the two players ahead of him goes down.

Posted by: arizona4 | September 7, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Not when you consider that they're going to be in coverage.

The only advantage we have is being a relatively unknown quantity - with Haslett being able to disguise the coverage and force Romo figure it out after the snap.

Anyway we're still going to lose and I'm still going to throw crap at the TV and get in a fight with my wife.

Posted by: BrooklynSkins | September 7, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

I agree overall. I think Dallas OL has been a question mark all offseason as they really didn't do much to improve there depth. They gave up alot of sacks and haven't look to sharp in the preseason. I think the Skins need to attack that weakness on Sunday in order to have a good chance to win

Posted by: kevioconnor | September 8, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Andre Carter, strong against the run? Really?

Posted by: molarman72 | September 8, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

andre carter a strength at LB,really?

Posted by: cboyhater | September 8, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I hate the Cowboys, but unlike the skins they are a smart team that know how to take advantage of certain matchups, YOUKNOW, the way they've saved their most cricital play in many victories over the skins to take advantage of the agressiveness of our safeties. They will do the same Sunday against our WEAK linebacker Andre Carter. The coach and Lavar give him the benefit of the doubt because they know him, think he's a smart and experienced guy. But to those who have watched him play this preseason in a new position, WE ARE NOT IMPRESSED and I suspect that Dallas has a couple plays designed just to take advantage of Orakpo's agressiveness and Carter lack of speed and cover skills. Now the skins on the other hand seem to NEVER even look at taking advantage of individual matchups or it certainly doesn't appear that they do. While Sundays game is just one game it is the skin's Boise State moment and will tell fans alot about where the team might be headed this season.

Posted by: keedrow | September 8, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Dallas is favored to win the division and that's probably a fair assessment considering our division sucks, but Dallas is also one of the most overrated teams in the league.

The Skins have a punchers chance. The better team doesn't always win on Sunday.

I understand Lavars point about their physical skill, but both of these two have looked lost in coverage at times. Hopefully they'll keep their mistakes to a minimum Sunday.

Posted by: skins91r | September 8, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

People...read the post! Lavar was analyzing our LB's vs the Cowboy's tackles. The conversation will change when the analysis looks at our LB's trying to cover their tightends and running backs.

Posted by: prioleau | September 9, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

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