The Dallas Cowboys 2011 defense was less than perfect by any means but should the players and coaches take a full responsibility for it? Absolutely not.
Earlier this week, ESPN Dallas, came out with an article about how Rob Ryan is the scapegoat for the 2011 defensive play, as well as less than average defensive personnel. After chewing over this a bit I think it’s a combination of many different things and those things have been addressed for the upcoming season.
First, of course we had some aged players but the lack of an off-season and very little moves from the Dallas Cowboy organization in general really put a strain on the defense. If you look closely, the offense seemed to “gel” together because they had the same coaching staff as in the previous season and much the same personnel. Add Rob Ryan as the new defensive coordinator plus players who hadn’t had much of an opportunity to play together they simply lacked chemistry on that side of the ball.
Secondly, yes we can place some blame on the players who were less than average. Players that probably came back too early from injuries just to fill the position. The depth was sorely lacking.
Thirdly, yes, Rob Ryan has been known to have a complex defensive scheme. Learning all of that with a shortened nearly non-existent off-season will make a team struggle.
This upcoming year, the depth problem has been addressed with the draft and free-agency. The team is younger, quicker and they will have a full off-season to learn the playbook, to get the chemistry required to win games and this year, thankfully, we won’t see the defense lost and confused and we will continue to see young leaders, like Sean Lee, emerge more as the season comes into view. It will be an interesting and fun ride through pre-season to see how quickly the defense gets together and watch that chemistry begin.
Just a quick side note, Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s who read The Landry Hat!