Cowboys Big Play D Reminiscent Of Saints Superbowl Squad

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Coaches Monte Kiffin and Rod Marinelli don’t have the personnel to field an elite statistical squad, but somehow they’ve gotten a crew of has-beens, rejects, and never-weres to make high-impact, game-changing plays – the kinds of plays that win football games.


Nov 3, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) runs the ball while defended by Dallas Cowboys free safety Barry Church (42) and defensive end Everette Brown (71) in the first quarter of the game at AT

This is shaping up to be an easy team to root for. How can anyone not love the George Selvie story? Or Everette Brown – a former second-round bust of the Carolina Panthers who turned in a huge second-half strip sack in his first game action mere days after being signed off his couch at home.

Many of these newcomers have had a glimpse of the abyss – life after football. That cold reality that hangs heavy when 32 doors slam shut, and the only path left open is the middling, anonymous grind of a smoothie shop.

Then the phone rings, and Jerry’s on the line. And as a hasty bag is packed for a late flight, perhaps it dawns on them that this is it – this was the last call they were ever going to get. One last, long shot to leave a mark. To matter. To live a life. And that knowledge provides a drive, a determination, an internal motivator that we can’t objectively quantify… An intangible.

Passion and leadership make good teams great, but they aren’t the only intangibles that matter. This defense may not be loaded with talent, but it’s got more want-to than any unit in the league.

With a little luck and a red-hot quarterback, that could be enough.

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  • SmartThinking

    I would consider this defensive team to be a success if the linebackers, corners and safeties played this game with the life-and-death fervor and intensity that this defensive line has demonstrated week in and week out this season. I am their 100% biggest fan. Sure, you can pick out the backfield stand-outs: Lee for sure, Church and Carr on occasion. All the rest need a fire lit under them similar to what every one of the newcomer defensive front can tell you about. Playing professional football is a privilege few men will ever experience. And when that experience gets yanked out from under you, you get a newfound respect of the game if you’re ever fortunate enough to get a second chance to be great. For the sake of this team, Carter and Claiborne need to very quickly know what not playing feels like because, based on their play to date, I don’t think they’re playing even close to their best ball. Dallas is last in the league in defense for a lot of reasons. Some of these guys will never get another chance in their careers to be great. Problem is, for some, they don’t have the first idea what a loss they’re going to feel when the game is yanked out from under them too.