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Posted at 7:24 PM ET, 12/18/2010

Redskins' 3-4 defense will be "good challenge" for Cowboys

By Jason Reid

Although the Redskins are last in the NFL in total defense, their 3-4 scheme has presented challenges to opposing offenses this season.

The Dallas Cowboys play host to the Redskins on Sunday at Cowboys Stadium, and Dallas interim coach Jason Garrett has observed many impressive things on film while reviewing the Redskins' 3-4. But Garrett also was impressed with their previous 4-3 base alignment.

"Well the scheme is different, obviously," Garrett said. "Four down linemen versus three down linemen. The 3-4 is something that seems to be becoming more and more prevalent in this league. There are still a number of teams playing the four-down scheme the Redskins used to play.

"They have very good players. They have good players up front. They have good linebackers, they are very productive and they are good in the back end. The scheme is different, but the guys out there running it are the same and they seem like the same guys. It will be a good challenge for us. You just kind of see them doing it in a different way."

Preparing for the 3-4 is more difficult, Garrett said.

"You probably have known down linemen when you are playing against a 4-3 and these guys are truly defensive end-type players," Garrett said. "When you play a 3-4 scheme, those outside linebackers are potential rushers, like most teams have around the league. But they are also guys that will drop more frequently than the typical four down defensive lineman would.

"That is probably the biggest thing - the variety of pressures you can naturally get to in a three-down front. You can bring two linebackers strong, two linebackers weak, one from the side, one on a side and the good 3-4 schemes do all that stuff very seamlessly. It is important for us as an offense to be able to recognize who the potential pressure guys are and who are the guys dropping. That is the challenge you face every time you break the huddle against this scheme."

By Jason Reid  | December 18, 2010; 7:24 PM ET
Categories:  3-4 defense  
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Next: Jason Garrett reveling in his new job as Cowboys coach


First to say Merry Christmas!!

Posted by: Sulphide1 | December 18, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

frankly this whole thing makes Andy Reid look like the best special-Ed teacher this side of the mississippi if he can get this dumb QB to play well in a system with words and reading involved. and he did it for 11 yrs before finally giving up. Shanny got roasted on this deal, he bought an Elway and got Forrest Gump.

remember that McNabb is really dumb - he tested the depths of how low you get get on the Wonderlic test and still be breathing.

anyway, I'm sick of losing, and pro QB's are paid to win. McDumb collected a heck of lot of cashe for stumbling us to 5-8.

Posted by: greatteamdan | December 18, 2010 2:13 PM
had to re-post the best post of the day..

Posted by: onanygivensunday | December 18, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

"You probably have known down linemen when you are playing against a 4-3 and these guys are truly defensive end-type players," Garrett said. "When you play a 3-4 scheme, those outside linebackers are potential rushers, like most teams have around the league. But they are also guys that will drop more frequently than the typical four down defensive lineman would.

What Garrett was really thinking..

"you morons took the personnel of a 10th ranked 4-3 defense in 2009 and forced them to play an unfamiliar and unsuited 3-4 in 2010 and they are now ranked dead last in the NFL.
Please dont change anything until after our game."

Posted by: onanygivensunday | December 18, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Sigh...peeps still don't get it. The best outlook for this team was going to be 8-8. This season was the best time to switch to a 3-4.

So we are dead last in the NFL in D. So what? Were we going to go to the playoffs? No. This is the perfect year to see which of your guys can play the 3-4. Cut the guys who can't after this year and fill in the pieces.

Let's say we have a great FA and draft this year. Who thinks the Skins will be winning the SB next year? 2011 will again be a year of building the team to compete by year three, by which time we should have the personnel for the 3-4...when it will really matter.

Riddle me this, how would this year's O have helped a top 10 D? Same as last years O, would have been waste of another good D.

Just don't get how peeps can't see that this was the year to make the change.

Posted by: kerzon417 | December 18, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

hell yes mcchoke is as dumb as they come! Only someone as slow as him would think that he shouldn't be benched with his play and no hope for the playoffs! It's important that we get a smart qb with skills to be our future! I'm pretty sure cam newton is as slow as mcnabb! We need to nbite the bullet and trade up to Draft the best qb in the last 15 years Andrew Luck! I'm sure we could trade mcnabb as part of a deal to the pathers so he could tutor up clausen and wtf throw in fat al and a draft pick with our 1st!! WE NEED TO GET THE BEST QB IF WE DRAFT ONE THAT MEANS LUCK! TRADE UP AND DRAFT THIS YOUNG PEYTON MANNING AND BUILD AROUND HIM! HTTR!!

Posted by: warriorking111285 | December 18, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Garrett beeps

Posted by: kerzon417 | December 18, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

all i can say is,good luck

Posted by: FOURWATTS | December 18, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Jason, you MUST be kidding! We don't have the worst defense in the league for nothing. Their can't be any other team the Cowboys would rather face than a Redskins team with a horrible offense, the worst ranked defense and Rex Grossman.

It'll be our 3rd butt whooping in 4 weeks.

Posted by: Redskinrex | December 18, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Look idiots it depends on the opposition. This is a game of ADJUSTMENTS and stupidity be recycled.

Was Jason not part of the Dallas Cowboys the last 3 to 4 years? Washington Record the last 3 to 4 years. I do not care if you play 2-4, 8-2 or the sexy 3-4, you still lose to New England. It is about Coaching smarts, followed by good young players. We have seen this ACT before it is not in the DNA San Diego (Father Son),Ryans, Shanahans,Allens the list goes on. They are ALL losers. Cam Newton stay away...NE,if YOU can. Why is Matt Hasselback in the LEAGUE?

Posted by: msgbill | December 19, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

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