Ravens could be hard-pressed to create yards through the air against Dallas

OWINGS MILLS - Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers mirrored Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin through every stage of his route.

And when Boldin broke his route back toward quarterback Joe Flacco, Flowers broke right with him, hopping in front of the wide receiver and intercepting Flacco's pass in that direction.

As was the case for most of Baltimore's 9-6 win against the Chiefs last week, the Ravens' receivers struggled to escape from Kansas City's press-man coverage.

It was a coverage Baltimore also had trouble with during its early-season loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, and it's similar to the one the Ravens expect to see during today's matchup with the Dallas Cowboys.

"That's something that ... we have to handle that," Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said. "We talked about that [Monday] quite a bit."

The Cowboys' pass defense is ranked as the best in the NFL, having limited opponents to an average of just 170 yards per game through the air.

"They do a lot of press-man," Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith said. "It's going to be fun, a nice little challenge for us."

Dallas ranked just 23rd against the pass last year, but signed cornerback Brandon Carr as a free agent and selected fellow cornerback Morris Claiborne with the sixth overall pick in April's NFL draft.

"We just assessed our team after last season," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "We had been ahead in a few different games last year and weren't able to hold the lead. We felt like we just needed to get better on the back end. ... We feel like those guys really make us better in the secondary. They allow us to do some things on defense this year that we want to do.

"I think any defensive coach, and really any offensive coach, would tell you that if you have real good corners and real good cover guys on the back end, it gives you much more freedom to play what you want to play on defense."

Smith described Carr and Claiborne as "physical guys that can run."

"That's kind of the recipe for a good corner nowadays," he said.

Flacco is throwing for an average of 291 yards per game and has seven scoring passes with four interceptions, but he was just 13-of-27 for 187 yards with no touchdowns and one interception against Kansas City last week.

Boldin had four catches for 82 yards, but Smith picked up just 38 yards on three catches. Fellow speedster Jacoby Jones was held without a catch.

Baltimore will be looking for better results against Dallas.

"[Dallas is] going to be up in our face a lot," Ravens receiver Tandon Doss said. "We've just got to get off of it. ... We've got to be physical since we know they're going to be physical and up in our face."

Added Flacco: "We're going to have to be on our game underneath in order to get the job done and play well. Just the things I've talked about: run precise routes, hit [receivers] on the front shoulder with the ball and allow them to grab the ball, and it might be a catch and tackle here and there.

"As long as we continue to do that, then I think we will move the ball a little bit and continue to move the chains. If we aren't as precise as we need to be, then a catch and tackle might turn into a batted pass, and we will be sitting there in a situation that won't be quite as advantageous to us as it would have been the other way."

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