Will The Cowboys Ever Develop A Killer Instinct?

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The Cowboys were remarkable in penalties getting called twice for 31 yards. They also won the turnover battle, taking the ball away four times. Sad stat: The Lions are the second team in the history of the NFL to win a game after having four turnovers. The Cowboys lost the time of possession battle – 24:49 to 35:11. They also failed on third down conversions going 3 of 13.

Two gigantic failures on behalf of the Dallas Cowboys offense came in the fourth quarter. The inability to get a first down when they started on their 19 yard line with 3:33. Which was the worst possible time to go three and out. Second was running three plays and settling for a field goal when you get the ball on the Lions 31 yard line. Elite teams would’ve scored a touchdown in that situation. You don’t make it hard for the other team to come back, you make it impossible. Put the dagger in their throat and twist it.

Defensively, Monte Kiffin’s defensive play calling and alignment frustrates me. Take a look at this screen shots from the Detroit Lions first touchdown. Detroit Lions at the Cowboys 2 yard line on fourth down. Instead of attacking Calvin Johnson or any of the receivers at the line of scrimmage, everyone gets a free release. Brandon Carr backpedals as if he’s defending the back pylon so Calvin Johnson strolls to the goal line and catches the ball. It was simply too easy and a complete defensive coverage failure. Fourth and 2, and you don’t jam the receivers at the line of scrimmage? It’s football 101.

In the first photo, the Cowboys look as if they are going to protect the goal line and jam the receivers.

start_good The second picture shows the Cowboys allowing the Lions receivers to run all “willy-nilly” thru the endzone. (I’ve always wanted to use the phrase willy-nilly in an article!)

run_freeCompare the Cowboys photo to the Seattle Seahawks goal line stand against the St. Louis Rams.

seattle_dNotice how Seattle’s defenders are all “hat on hat”, with their hands on the receivers and defending the goal line. They even have a rusher coming off the edge. That’s how you play tough, physical goal line defense and earn respect around the league.

The Cowboys defenders were told they would be playing more like the Seahawks defense this season. It seems, even at 73 years old, Monte Kiffin has a lot to learn.

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys DeMarco Murray Monte Kiffin

  • Ed

    I agree that the Boys don’t have the instinct but it isn’t the run game that that will solve it. Brees doesn’t need it, and until recently Brady and Manning haven’t had it. It’s a team mind set. That means coaches and players on both sides of the ball.

    • Robert H. Carroll

      Good points with Brees. You’d be surprised how much the Patriots run the ball.. I was, when I checked last years stats. They were tops in rushing and passing. There’s nothing more demoralizing than having a team run the ball down your throat with the clock ticking away and you can’t stop them. Pounding it between the tackles, it’s mean and nasty. It used to be NFC East football, but now our style has moved to the NFC West. Remember being pissed at Washington in last years finale? It was just painful to watch (mostly Ware’s fault). I do have to give credit tho, tackling this year has improved. We’re just not nasty yet.

  • disqus_kLJwdEdnOL

    I have posted many times before that the Cowboys lack intensity and needed to get mean. That being said, unfortunately, that is just one of many things they need.

  • Robert H. Carroll

    I don’t even want to count how many close games the Cowboys lose. You can see when they aren’t playing to win, but not to lose. I was at the playoff game in Minnesota, when Favre “ran the score up”. Many were upset, but the offense’s job is to score touchdowns, don’t cry if you can’t stop it. Garrett plays like he doesn’t want to hurt the other teams feelings.