Dallas Cowboys defense turning into something special

LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 29: Cornerback Orlando Scandrick
LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 29: Cornerback Orlando Scandrick /

The Dallas Cowboys have been known for their high-powered offense, but is the defense finally stepping up and matching the production?

The Dallas Cowboys always find themselves atop the NFL in offense. The past few years are most of the same since Dallas has invested so much in their offensive line.

Arguably the NFL’s best offensive line could be enough to have an elite offense, but add in former first round picks, wide receiver Dez Bryant and running back Ezekiel Elliott. But the list continues with the two leaders of the offense, All-Pro tight end Jason Witten and second-year quarterback Dak Prescott.

The Cowboys seem to have an offense most teams dream of. Has the defense finally found its own path to recognition?

While the offense has had its years of praise the defense was mentioned on the opposite end of the spectrum. Failed free agent signings and busted draft picks doomed the defense for years.

The 2017 Dallas Cowboys defense is on a mission to change the tide. All-Pro linebacker Sean Lee has been the anchor for a young defense. Through eight games Lee currently leads the team in tackles with 41, the closest would be Jaylon Smith with 27.

After the defense struggled in to produce a pass rush in 2016 they now have 27 total sacks led by defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence who has an incredible 10.5 sacks half way through the season.

Fellow defensive lineman David Irving has six games even after missing the first four games due to a suspension. One can only imagine what Irving’s sack total would be at with those four games added on.

Defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford is also on pace for a career year in sacks. Currently sitting at four sacks Crawford is only one sack away from season high of five. With eight games left on the schedule he should easily shatter his personal mark.

The Cowboys secondary struggled early but mostly due to injuries. Corners, Orlando Scandrick, Chidobe Awuzie, and recently released Nolan Carroll all missed time in the first eight games.

The injuries were only a blessing in disguise as rookie corner Jourdan Lewis has stepped up and earned a starting role opposite corner Anthony Brown, while Scandrick is the slot specialist.

Safeties Jeff Heath and Byron Jones have taken on their full-time roles in stride. Heath became the first and only person this year to intercept Chiefs’ quarterback Alex Smith. While Byron Jones has been challenged with the task of taking on the NFL’s toughest tight ends.

Next: Dallas Cowboys 2017 Rookie Class - Midseason grades

Together this Dallas Cowboys defense is “turning into something special” and will continue to grow as there is much more talent coming up. The next test will be this week when they visit the Atlanta Falcons, one of the NFC’s best offenses.