Grading the Cowboys defensive position groups midway through the 2022 season
The heart and soul of the 2022 Dallas Cowboys has been the defense. Led by Micah Parsons, Trevon Diggs, and DeMarcus Lawrence, the defensive unit has been a fun one to watch leading up to the bye week.
Dan Quinn has this defense rolling for the second season in a row, but not in the same exact way as last season. Last year, a lot of the team’s success was due to the amount of turnovers they created. Now, a lot of the success is due to the team being able to get to the other team’s quarterback.
This should be a fun one to grade. Starting with the defensive line, arguably the best group of the unit, I will be grading each position group by their performance so far in 2022. As a note in advance, Parsons will be talked about in both the defensive line and linebacker unit, talking about how he effects each group individually.
Grading the Cowboys’ defense halfway through the 2022 season
As I mentioned before, a ton of this defense’s success has been linked to their ability to get to the quarterback. One simple stat can help build that case. The Cowboys currently, prior to Week 9 games, lead the NFL in sacks with 33, seven more than the next highest team (49ers with 26).
If that isn’t enough for you, the team also leads the NFL in total pressures as well with 95. Led by Parsons with eight sacks, Dorance Armstrong is having a breakout year himself with five sacks, then Lawrence follows with four, which is also tied with newcomer Dante Fowler.
While the defensive line has done a great job at forcing pressure on its opposition, they aren’t perfect. The run defense could certainly be better, especially after most recently surrendering over 240 rushing yards to the Chicago Bears in Week 8. The defense has allowed the seventh-most rushing yards in the league.
Overall, the pros certainly outweigh the cons in this group. This is some pass rush we haven’t seen in Dallas for a while. The line needs to keep this up, and hopefully, if they don’t, it’s because they’re working really hard to work on their run-stopping ability.