Two weeks ago, when the Cowboys faced the Steelers, something seemed to change before our eyes.
The defense actually showed up. Dallas kept Pittsburg off the scoreboard for the entire first quarter and held them to only 46 rushing yards.
So, is this a turning point for the defense?
The Cowboys defense has been historically bad this season. They are sitting in last place among all NFL teams. They have consistently allowed teams to pass and especially run up and down the field each week. They have allowed teams to run an average of 178 yards per game. If a struggling running back needs a “get right” game, he can come down to Dallas and give his averages a nice boost.
There have been some excuses made for why the defense has been so awful. A shortened pre-season, a new scheme, lack of communication.
Whatever the problem is, it should have been solved by this point.
Before the 2020 trade deadline, the Cowboys got rid of some dead weight on defense. They cut defensive lineman, Dontari Poe, and cornerback, Daryl Worley. They also traded away defensive end, Everson Griffen, to Detroit. All three had been disappointments for the team, especially Poe who had failed to even show up on a stat sheet for three consecutive weeks.
These roster moves have allowed some younger faces to get some more playing time and that could be one of the factors in the sudden defensive boost. Rookie Neville Gallimore made an impact during the Steelers game when put into Poe’s old spot.
Now do not get it twisted, the defense is still bad. They will not be leading the league in any stats this season, but at this point any improvement is good.
Maybe the coaches simplified some of the playbooks or maybe the players are just putting in more effort.
Regardless, the defense may be at a turning point in their performance.
Featured Image: Dallas Morning News