Apparently Dallas Cowboys coach Wade Phillips had no idea the Detroit Lions would run the ball as much, and as well as they did. His admission provides a clearer picture to the questions many Cowboys fans have been asking since 4:15 last night: What the heck happened with the Dallas D? The Lions, not a particularly strong rushing team, ran all over the Cowboys. T.J. Duckett looked like a Pro Bowler. It was scary to watch as the Cowboys approach the playoffs.
DMN’s Tim MacMahon has an article today that is an interesting short read. Was Phillips watching the same game? By this quote, I would say not really:
Phillips also said that he wasn’t worried about run defense being a problem for Dallas in the future. He noted that it wasn’t like the Lions were breaking tackles or running through gaping holes.
“We had a guy free on every play,” Phillips said. “We just didn’t make the play.”
I saw quite a few broken tackles. I also saw some gaping holes. The trend of this defense is they often seem to make an important play when it counts most, like yesterday. Down by 6, and the Lions have the ball with less than 3 minutes left, the defense forces them to punt. It leaves the impression that the defense played horribly, and in a way it did, but if it shows up when it really counts I shouldn’t be as harsh as I have been. The Dallas defense certainly is inconsistent, I will say that.