DeAngelo Hall on Cowboys game: 'We got a lot to play for'
Like millions of football fans, DeAngelo Hall spent Sunday afternoon on his couch watching the offensive show being put on by the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos. He was as impressed with the Cowboys as the rest of us were.
“They looked amazing out there,” the Washington Redskins cornerback said. “I didn't think it would be an offense that could keep up with Peyton Manning and those guys. Dallas and Tony Romo never cease to amaze me.”
Romo passed for over 500 yards and four touchdowns. “He was in a zone,” said Hall. “When you play the best it always brings the best out of you. Tony knowing it was Peyton Manning and knowing what kind of offense they had probably had a lot of motivation to get his guys motivation to perform as best they could. Those guys definitely came to play.”
When the Redskins face the Cowboys in AT&T Stadium on Sunday night, Hall will be charged with trying to stop Romo from completing passes to star wide receiver Dez Bryant. Against the Broncos Bryant caught six passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns. With his size (6-feet-2, 225) and speed, Bryan often looks like a man playing among boys. But Hall has played him pretty tough over the years.
“It's going to be a battle. He's definitely one of the best wide receivers in the game,” said Hall. “When we're on the field, he hates me, I hate him. Off the field, I like the kid, like him a lot.”
There are no great secrets to trying to contain a receiver like Bryant. “Just compete, try to play the whole down,” said Hall. “He makes a lot of plays when Tony just extends the pocket, extends the play. That's when he makes the majority of his big plays.”
“There's no mind tricks or no talking [trash] back and forth, it's really going out there and try to compete . . . Ultimately you need to either go out there and knock it out or he's going to catch it. That's kind of how it goes.”
One advantage the Redskins’ defense may have that the Broncos’ D did not is their familiarity with the Cowboys’ offensive scheme and personnel. They have played against Bryant five times, against Romo 15 times and against Jason Witten 18 times. Hall, London Fletcher and a few other defenders have been around for most or all of those games.
“It's going to help us a lot . . . We know these guys,” said Hall when asked about the familiarity. “Over the last couple of years this offense has not been changed.”
One of the main lessons Hall has learned from facing Romo is that you can’t let up.
“I was so frustrated watching DRC [Broncos cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie], we was talking about it as a group,” he said. “I felt like he was in good position a couple of times but just not knowing that Dallas offense, he eased up for one second and if you ease up for one second it can be six [points] or 70 yards or 80 yards later. That's what happened a couple of times to the Denver secondary.”
If that happens more than a couple of times to the Redskins it will be a long night in Dallas. But if Hall and the rest of the defense can stay on top of things it should be an interesting game.