And so one of the biggest rivalries in all of sports sees yet another chapter unfold. With both teams coming in at 5-9 and playoff aspirations but a pipe-dream, this game promises to be... close. With both teams struggling offensively and playing well defensively, don't expect much in the way of scoring. here are some of the game's key player match-ups.
Derrick Dockery vs La’Roi Glover
By Scott Hurrey
La’Roi Glover is a 9-year veteran out of San Diego State. Drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the fifth round of the 1996 NFL draft, Glover spent the spring of ’97 playing for the Barcelona Dragons of NFL Europe. Glover earned All-World honors that season in helping his team win the World League title. Waived by the Raiders following that season, Glover was claimed by the New Orleans Saints, where he played 5 seasons before signing with the Cowboys prior to the 2002 season.
Glover, recently named to his fifth consecutive pro bowl, is known primarily for his pass-rushing skills. In 2000, his 17 sacks were second all-time for a defensive tackle. He has been credited as a stabilizing force for the Dallas defense, and one of the main reasons they held the number 1 defensive ranking in 2003.
Derrick Dockery is listed at 6’6”, 345 lbs and Coach Joe Bugel has him performing well. Since being thrust into the starting line-up last season as a rookie, Dockery has shown marked improvement. Dockery was able to dominate his opponents on the college level based on his sheer size, but in the NFL, offensive linemen must rely on good technique, fast feet and stamina.
Dock, as his teammates call him, has shown he has the ability to translate his dominance into NFL success at times. As soon as he becomes as consistently good as he has shown he can be, Dock will be a force to be reckoned with.
During the week three matchup with the Cowboys, Dockery was able to keep La’Roi Glover in check for most of the game, giving up 1 sack and holding Glover to 2 tackles. This should make for an exciting battle, but Dockery is a much better guard than he was in week three, and that improvement should show dividends on the field.
Chris Cooley vs. Roy Williams
By Fran Farren
The Cowboys defense is anchored by Safety Roy Williams. He has become one of the most dominant players on the Dallas defense. Recently elected to his 2nd Pro Bowl, despite recording his only two interceptions of the season in the past two games, Williams is currently 2nd on the Cowboys with 91 tackles. Generally, Williams turns in a strong performance week in and week out but sometimes he has struggled.
Williams’ greatest strength is his aggressiveness and always being around the ball. Simply put, he wants to be a part of every defensive play. If he had his choice, he would be. This over-aggressiveness, however, can lead to him being burned once in a while.
This week TE Chris Cooley comes to town. Cooley, who is slowly becoming a bigger part of the Redskins offense, will have his hands full this week playing against the tough Cowboys safety. Cooley will certainly have his catches, but don’t look for a ton of yards after the catch. Expect Williams to be right there at the same time the ball lands in Cooley’s hands.