There are lots of things the Cowboys would like to do this Sunday when they take on the Titans. The key for a victory is stopping Titans RB Chris Johnson. While he only ranks 6th in the NFL in rushing yards, Johnson is a threat every time he touches the ball. While he isn’t the biggest or strongest back in the league, he is the fastest.
Titans’ head coach Jeff Fisher knows that any team they play starts their scheming with Chris Johnson. He also knows that on any given play Johnson can break one. “He’s literally one touch away from changing the game or going the distance,” Fisher said to the media on Wednesday. It is true, Johnson, while only having 354 yards rushing so far this season, he did have over 2000 yards and a 5.6 yard/carry average last year.
The Cowboys know that he is a dangerous weapon and will be looking first to shut him down. They have already been working on it in practice. “It feels like we’ve been practicing for this guy for two weeks, a month really,” Bradie James said. “We’ve seen a lot of tape on him, and he’s really good. Real good.” While the Cowboys know this will be a tough task, they have not been super stout against the run as of late. While they held Washington and Chicago to modest numbers on the ground, the Texans and Arian Foster put up almost 130 yards on the ground during the Cowboys last game.
The Cowboys demonstrated that they are susceptible to the cutback run and counters. Those are plays that are run when the defense is extremely aggressive. The Cowboys will have to be extra careful with contain when the face Johnson on Sunday. After all, they know that if you want to beat the Titans, you have to first beat CJ.