Cowboys' front seven poses big challenge for 49ers

September 14, 2011, 6:04 pm
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It's bound to be a storyline throughout the week, as the 49ers' offense faces the Dallas Cowboys' challenging front seven in the NFL.Here's the Cowboys who started in the team's front seven Sunday against the New York Jets:
LDE: Kenyon Coleman (6-5, 295, 11th season)
NT: Jay Ratliff (6-4, 285, 7th season)
RE: Jason Hatcher (6-6, 305, 6th season) or Marcus Spears (6-4, 315, 7th season)
OLB: Anthony Spencer (6-3, 254, 5th season)
MLB: Bradie James (6-2, 240, 9th season)
ILB: Sean Lee (6-2, 245, 2nd season)
OLB: DeMarcus Ware (6-4, 257, 7th season) Center Jonathan Goodwin, in his first season with the 49ers after coming over as a free-agent from the New Orleans Saints, spoke about the 49ers' season-opening win against Seattle and looking ahead to the Cowboys.

Q: On the 49ers' problems in the run game against Seattle:
Goodwin: "In my opinion, it's a good sign that you still found a way to win the game even when you're not racking up yards. I think the drive to set up that last field goal was pretty big for us. I know, definitely, there's a lot of improvement we can still make. But hopefully we improve and head in the right direction. . . . For the most part, they did a very good job in the run game. That's something I know as a team we definitely want to improve."Q: Were the runs pretty simple?
Goodwin: "Yes. Nothing was too complicated."Q: Was that lockout-related or game-plan-related?
Goodwin: "I'm not sure. They have a pretty decent group up front. And for whatever reasons, they probably played a little better in the run game. I know we didn't have that many yards rushing. So that's something we won't be happy with."Q: Was that the plan to run quite a bit or did the plan change when you got up?
Goodwin: "I think we wanted to be balanced. Any time you can be balanced in both the run and the pass game, it keeps the defense off balance. I think any game you go into, you want to be balanced and keep the defense guessing."Q: It was almost like a preseason game in what you guys showed on offense and defense. Is that a nice thing going into Week 2 that your opponent hasn't see a lot?
Goodwin: "Yeah. If you can win a game by still doing some basic things, it's always a plus. Like you said, you go into Week 2 and the Cowboys haven't seen some of the things we're capable of doing. Hopefully, that will give us an advantage this week. They have a great front seven, so it's definitely going to be a big challenge for us. This is one we have to prepare for all week, and look at them on film and hopefully have some better results in the run game."Q: When was last time you played them?
Goodwin: "I played them the last two years. I played them on Thanksgiving last year. Between (Jay) Ratliff and DeMarcus Ware and some of the other guys up front, it's definitely a talented front seven. I think Ratliff is one of the better nose guards in the league."Q: He's right on your facemask all game long?
Goodwin: "Yeah, from my past experiences. I know they have a new defensive coordinator, but I know he was both on the center and guard."Q: What distinguishes him from other nose tackles you face?
Goodwin: "He has long arms. He's quick and he's very athletic. He's definitely one of the top guys at his position."Q: Would you rather face a team that was coming off a win or a tough loss like the Cowboys experienced against the Jets on Sunday night?
Goodwin: "You'd rather have the other team coming off a win. I'm sure they're going to come in here with the mindset that they don't want to start the season off 0-2. Either way, it was going to be a tough game. But it's definitely going to be a challenge for us, and hopefully we can find a way to get it done."

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