Cowboys Debate: Is it the Defensive Players or the System?

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Dec 9, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Cowboy Fans Endure Cold. Left to Right: Catouche Body (Jackson, MS), Kyle Knudson (Dallas, TX), Robert Carroll (Jacksonville, FL), Vladimir Peleshak (Salt Lake City, UT), Michael Black (Atlanta, GA) & Henry Adamson (Paterson, NJ). Mandatory Credit: Game DayDog

Dec 9, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Cowboy Fans Endure Cold. Left to Right: Catouche Body (Jackson, MS), Kyle Knudson (Dallas, TX), Robert Carroll (Jacksonville, FL), Vladimir Peleshak (Salt Lake City, UT), Michael Black (Atlanta, GA) & Henry Adamson (Paterson, NJ). Mandatory Credit: Game DayDog

Another problem is team chemistry, the defense hasn’t been playing together long. Take a look at Seattle’s secondary compared to Dallas’ secondary.

Player Name

Games Played

Years with Team

Position

Player Name

Games Played

Years with Team

Richard Sherman

45

3

Left Cornerback

Brandon Carr

93

2

Byron Maxwell

31

3

Right Cornerback

Orlando Scandrick

85

6

Kam Chancellor

60

4

Strong Safety

Jeff Heath

13

R

Earl Thomas

61

4

Free Safety

Barry Church

44

4

Jeff Heath’s backup is J.J. Wilcox, another rookie and Orlando Scandrick spent the majority of his career here as a nickel corner. Scandrick replaced Morris Claiborne as starting right cornerback this season.

There’s also coaching. This is the Cowboys first year under Monte Kiffin and the Seahawks first year under Dan Quinn. Dan Quinn replaced “Gus” Bradley, but Quinn was familiar with the defensive system, having been assistant head coach / defensive line coach in 2009. In 2010, he was strictly the defensive line coach of the Seahawks.

The Seahawks defense grew to be better as they played together. Like offensive linemen, there’s a familiarity that comes with playing together. The key phrase is – Defensive Unit. Our secondary needs to see the same thing and that comes with time. With that said, I’d like to see them grow together under the guidance of a different coach that believes in engaging receivers at the line of scrimmage.

Year

Yards Allowed

Rank

Points Allowed

Rank

2010

368.6

27th

25.4

25th

2011

332.2

9th

19.7

7th

2012

306.2

4th

15.3

1st

I won’t throw in the towel prematurely, ever. The Cowboys have won seven games with their defensive personnel. It doesn’t make sense to jump off the bandwagon because a pundit claims, “Cowboys can’t win any games with this defense.”

Cowboys. Bears. Two teams both with records of 7 – 6. Both teams need to win their division to reach the playoffs. Yet, one team seems optimistic, the other is in panic mode. That’s what a win will do for you. Maybe next time, I can mention how intelligent the Bears fans are, how expensive hot chocolate is in Soldier Field and why I’d be obese if I lived near a Giordano’s deep dish pizza restaurant.

We have three weeks remaining in the regular season. The Cowboys haven’t been eliminated from the playoffs, we own the tie breaker with the division leader and we have three games at home. Yes, at home – because we own Fed Ex field. How loud can Washington fans be when they’re cheering with paper bags over their heads?

One game at a time. Let’s beat the Packers and chant – No Pack No!

#GoCowboys

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