Dallas Cowboys: 7 factors in the recently improved defense

DeMarcus Lawrence, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty) Images
DeMarcus Lawrence, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty) Images /
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Leighton Vander Esch, Dallas Cowboys
Leighton Vander Esch, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

More factors in the Dallas Cowboys’  improved defense

3. Leighton Vander Esch, linebacker, has played four weeks in a row – Maybe I should post his statistics. But is it really necessary? Vander Esch is obviously Dallas’s best linebacker by a country mile. They are a lot better when he’s on the field. Period.

4. Donovan Wilson is an improvement over all the other safeties not beginning with X – For most of the season, that second safety spot has been a real liability. Before the season began, in yet another disappointing free agent move, Dallas signed Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. But he couldn’t even beat out reserve safety Darian Thompson, so Clinton-Dix was cut before the season even began.

Thompson started at the second safety spot for most of the first half of the season, but he didn’t play very well. Finally, the team started giving snaps to Wilson, but he wasn’t so great either, at first.

Wilson, however, looks to have more talent, and has been learning the defense. In the last two games, Wilson has had eight tackles, including a sack. Like some of the other players, he’s been getting to his spot faster, and making some plays.

5. DeMarcus Lawrence, the two-time Pro Bowl defensive end, looks to be regaining his form – Earlier in the season, Lawrence seemed thrown off by the new defensive scheme, and hampered by minor injuries.

But in the last three games, Lawrence has made 12 tackles, three of them tackles-for-loss, and two of them sacks. One of those resulted in a fumble as well. In these last games, Lawrence is playing like what he’s supposed to be: an elite defensive end. It’s good to see, and should help the team down the stretch.