Problems with the Dallas Defense

Just when Cowboy fans were starting to get over that beat down the Saints put on Dallas in prime time where the Dallas defense allowed a mind boggling 40 first downs, McCown picked up where Brees left off.

This time it was 45 points allowed instead of 49. And the Bears were held to only (dripping in sarcasm) 33 first downs instead of 40. Progress? Not hardly.

Check out these rather disturbing numbers regarding the Dallas defense.
-The Bears were 8 of 11 on converting 3rd downs.
-The Bears scored on their first 8 possessions.
-Dallas defense is 32nd in passing yards allowed. Dead last in the NFL.
-Dallas defense is 32nd in total yards allowed. Dead last in the NFL.

I could go on but you get the idea. Our defense sucks. So what specifically is going wrong?

Kiffin’s Tampa 2 defense is dependent on taking the ball away which Dallas has been able to do better this year than last, but when they don’t take it away, they really struggle. They had no takeaways against the Bears.

Who is covering that guy?
Too often Bears receivers were absolutely not covered at all. It was just a little too easy. Are players confused? in Rob Ryan’s defense we were told by Jerry Jones it was too complex. Kiffin’s defense doesn’t appear complex but why are players still often out of position? Now your defenders are just looking not smart, Jerry.

The Tampa 2 is designed to keep receivers in front of the defense. Allow short passes, then tackle them for a short gain. Sounds good in theory, but it isn’t very effective if the front four of the defensive line struggles to pressure the QB. Receivers are able to go down the field and make catches just past the first down line with very little opposition.

No Pressure:
When it comes to sacks, Dallas isn’t able to get to the QB with their defensive line and I think it is a big part of their terrible performances. They have 27 sacks this season and are ranked 27th in the NFL. Dallas plays with young inexperienced safeties so when Dallas fails to pressure the QB, it just becomes too easy for opposing QBs.

This year they are playing without Spencer who was their best defensive lineman last season, and Ware has been injured so not playing 100%. Since Jerry failed to draft some young talent on the D-line, out of desperation they turned to inexperienced guys off the couch to get by. Perhaps it’s all being exploited now.

For the Tampa 4-3 defense to work, the front four must be more than the offensive line can handle and to state the obvious, right now they are no problem for the offensive lines.

Has Dallas ever had a super bowl winning team that was soft on the defensive line? No, and it’s not going to happen now either.