Cowboys Green Dog No Match For Brady & Gronk

By FirstDown PlayBook on Sep 10, 2021

Brady and Gronkowski put on a clinic last night on how to handle green dog pressure. The pressure came from a choke defender over Gronkowski. The situation was 3rd & 6 in the third quarter of the Dallas Cowboys Tampa Bay game.

This game was far from being decided and the Bucs had the ball on the Dallas 10 yard line. There was 6:28 left in the quarter and the Cowboys decided to heat Brady up in a big way.

Good defensive coaches are always looking for ways to get the best of both worlds. One example is when they want to have coverage when they need it but also get an extra rusher to the passer if they can. Sometimes the way they accomplish this is with a green dog pressure.

A green dog is when a defender has man coverage on an offensive player unless that offensive player blocks for pass protection. If the offensive player protects then the defensive player has a “green” light to come on a dog.

Brady & Gronk Have Seen a Few Green Dogs Before Too…

This is exactly what happened on this play last night. Once again, the Cowboys were not trying to be real sneaky about the fact that they were bringing pressure. The question was who was coming from where? If you go to the video and watch it, you will see that both Brady and Gronkowski knew that it was probably going to be 7 man pressure. The Bucs were in an empty formation. This meant someone was going to be hot and that was Gronk.

Here’s the next level of football though. If you are the Cowboys you would obviously want your safety #6 Donovan Wilson covering Gronk and have #90 DeMarcus Lawrence rushing Brady right? Remember what we said about defensive coaches…The Cowboys tried to get the best of both worlds with a green dog.

They wanted Wilson to cover Gronk if he released and they wanted Wilson to add on as another rusher if he pass protected against Lawrence. Well Gronk has seen a few choke defenders green dog too and when the ball was snapped all he had to do was sell the protection for a split second before he released. Result? Touchdown Bucs!