'Total team effort' from Redskins D bottled up Ezekiel Elliott

Josh Luckenbaugh
October 22, 2018 - 7:57 am

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Redskins defense made plenty of great plays in Sunday's victory over Dallas, but perhaps none was more impressive than bottling up Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott.

Elliott, who had caused the Washington defense fits in his three previous games against them, rushed for just 33 yards on 15 carries, the Redskins regularly plugging the holes to limit his damage.

John Keim told The Junkies Monday all three levels of the defense played a role in stopping Elliott from having a big day, but it all started with the play of the defensive line. 

"You do have to start up front," Keim said. "When I'd watch their (the Cowboys') games before, against Houston for example, they held him to 54 yards, it all started there with the penetration they'd get up front. And I thought the Redskins were getting that as well."

"There were times where, even out of their nickel set which is where I would have been most concerned — for example, I think on the first or second series they're running out of the gun, it looks like he might have a crease, well Kerrigan gets off the tight end, turns him and somebody else is there — there was good gang-tackling." 

A personnel change in the secondary also played a big part in limiting Elliott's yardage, Keim observed.

"In their base defense at times, they'd take out one of the corners and put in Deshazor Everett to give them three safeties and another physical guy," he said. "That helps them. He and D.J. Swearinger would make a difference."

"But yeah, Mason Foster coming clean along the line because of what the linemen were doing, was able to make gaps and make plays," Keim added. "It was a total team effort, but it does start with those guys up front."

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