After another stout performance, should we buy into the Dallas Cowboys defense?
It seems like we have been on a roller coaster when it comes to what we think of the Dallas Cowboys defense. At this point, I’m not too sure what to think.
Heading into the season, I had high hopes, but Week 2 through Week 7 was brutal. Somehow the team completely turned it around the past two weeks. Should we buy into the Cowboys’ defense?
At one point in the season, the Cowboys had the worst defense and the best offense in the league. Despite scoring 30+ points in four straight weeks, they only won two of the four games.
In the first six weeks of the season, Dallas gave up the fifth-most points in NFL history. It’s the most since 1961, which was 59 years ago. Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice wasn’t even born the last time that happened.
The first four weeks of the season, new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan was in the booth making the calls. It was Week 5 against the New York Giants that Nolan began making the calls from the sidelines. The defense slowly got better from this point on.
Week 7 was the first time since Week 1 that the Cowboys gave up less than 30 points. The Washington Football Team never had one running back with 60+ rushing yards yet this season. That was until running back Antonio Gibson ran for 128 yards that game.
All of a sudden, Dallas held the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers to under 25 points, and the defense played good. That caught a lot of people by surprise.
Against the Eagles, Dallas forced four turnovers, held quarterback Carson Wentz to under 125 passing yards, and sacked him four times. Against the Steelers, Dallas allowed under 50 rushing yards and applied pressure to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger all game.
The team is looking better as players buy into Nolan’s scheme while others return from injuries. The question becomes, is this just a two-week stint, or is this the real deal? By “real deal” I mean at least an above-average defense.
Do you have faith in the Dallas Cowboys defense now?
I’m looking at it like this. While the team was struggling, countless players were missing with injuries. Also, add in a shortened offseason to adapt to a new defensive scheme.
As the season has been progressing, the team is playing better. There are still inconsistencies, but the overall team is developing. That should keep fans excited.
The keys to the new aggressive concept are applying pressure to the quarterback, changing the looks on defense, and making plays on the ball. All three have been more noticeable as the season continued.
I believe that this defense is for real. It makes sense that the return of injured players and more time learning a new scheme is what was needed for the group to succeed. The issue is that they played good against a bad Eagles offense and an average Steelers offense.
This week is their bye week, so we don’t get to see how they play this weekend. We have to wait until next week when the Cowboys are up against the Minnesota Vikings.
The Vikings have a receiving corps headlined by wideouts Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson. They also boast the NFL rushing yards leader in Dalvin Cook.
If the Dallas Cowboys defense can put up a good fight against the Vikings offense, then I will claim that they are the real deal. I can’t put my hope in them until I see them play well against one of the better offenses in the NFL.