Yesterday, we talked a bit about the fact that the Buffalo Bills will be moving from facing New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan to facing Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan this week. In doing so, I touched on the idea that despite the potential information-sharing between the two brothers on how best to defend Buffalo, the Cowboys don't match up as well against the Bills as the Jets do.
With respect to the secondary - the key to the Jets' ability to suffocate Buffalo's offense - the Jets are unparalleled. But though the Cowboys struggled mightily in that area in 2010, they've gotten much better under Rob Ryan.
"The Cowboys secondary is actually playing pretty well this year, even though they've been hit hard by injury at cornerback," says Dave Halprin of BloggingTheBoys.com.
"The top three cornerbacks - Mike Jenkins, Terence Newman and Orlando Scandrick - have all missed time this year," continues Halprin. "Jenkins will miss this game, and a few more, and it's a shame because after a disastrous 2010 campaign, he was playing great ball. When all three of those guys are healthy, and playing better like in 2011, they are a decent cover secondary."
Halprin even notes that the team's much-maligned safety play has improved considerably thanks to some help from Ryan and his cohorts.
"The safety play has improved with Gerald Sensabaugh and the addition of Abe Elam," says Halprin. "Elam played for Ryan in Cleveland, so he's been able to help the transition to the new defensive schemes. Safety is no longer the disaster for Dallas that it has been."
Paired with a disruptive front seven paced by league-leading sack artist DeMarcus Ware, Rob Ryan has come close to replicating what brother Rex has in New York in a very short amount of time: an aggressive, exotic defense based on multiple looks and a strong secondary. The talent level in Dallas is less than it is in New York; time will tell if it's sufficient enough to keep Buffalo's offense under wraps for a second straight week.