Dallas Cowboys: 3 lingering questions after the loss to the Packers
3. What’s happening with the Dallas defense?
So far this season, I have been impressed with the Cowboys defense. I questioned their run defense a little at times, but overall the defense has played well. Dallas does appear to be defending the pass better though.
The Dallas Cowboys are giving up 220.4 passing yards per game, good for ninth in the league. They also rank sixth in average yards per pass with 6.3. They have been playing great in preventing passing first downs allowing only 28.9 percent, good for fourth in the league.
On Sunday, Dallas did a good job of containing quarterback Aaron Rodgers. He was held to 238 yards and no touchdowns. Any time you can keep Aaron Rodgers off the score sheet is a good game.
All of Green Bay’s touchdowns were from running the ball. Three of them were five or shorter yard runs. The Cowboys did a good job of limiting Rodgers and forcing the Packers to make an extra play or two near the goal line.
As far as rushing defense goes, the Cowboys have been average. Dallas ranks in the middle of the league with just over 100 rushing yards against per game and a 4.4 average yards per rush. They also own the second-worst first down percentage by rushing with 30.7 percent.
From what I’ve seen so far this season, the defensive line has yet been able to stuff the run much. The did great against Washington but they appear as if they don’t have the same punch they had last season.
On Sunday, linebacker Leighton Vander Esch had his fair share of missed tackles. He had this to say to Stefan Stevenson of Star-Telegram:
"“Just bad footwork and bad tackling. Those are tackles I shouldn’t miss and I’m going to focus on that this week in practice.”"
Now, the overall defense for Dallas has been playing well. They rank sixth in the league for yards against per game with 321.8 and have only given up an average of 18 points per game, good for seventh in the league.
I have very high expectations for this defense simply because I believe that it consists of many great players. The only questions I had coming into the season was at safety and defensive tackle.
The injury to defensive tackle Antwaun Woods did not help the interior line at all. Safety Xavier Woods has impressed me, and I sure hope he continues his play throughout the season. With the return of Woods and the run defense cleaned up, Dallas’ defense should remain top-notch.