Donte Whitner: 5’10”, 208 lbs., 26 years old.
Jason Witten: 6’6”, 265 lbs., 29 years old.
Right away, the height disparity between these two players stands out. Witten is a full eight inches taller than Whitner. How can Whitner be expected to match up effectively with such a tall target?
Whitner told Eric Branch that he covered the 6’5” Zach Miller one-one-one fifteen times last Sunday, and only allowed Miller to catch one pass for six yards when they were matched up.
But can Whitner take all the credit for shutting down Miller? No. The Niners’ defensive line gets a lot of the credit for giving Tarvaris Jackson very little time to throw. Also, Tarvaris Jackson gets some credit for Miller’s miniscule production, since he’s such a poor quarterback.
Tony Romo is a very good quarterback, and you can bet he will throw Witten’s way more than twice on Sunday. Witten’s been to seven straight Pro Bowls, and he should be the Coyboys’ primary weapon in the passing game against the Niners. Dez Bryant probably won’t play, and Miles Ausin has a sore knee and a tough matchup against Carlos Rogers.
Whitner has his hands full. If he can’t keep up with Witten by himself, the Niners may have to double team Dallas’ big tight end.
Matchup advantage: Cowboys