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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cowboys seeking to put the ‘D’ back in Dallas

The Dallas Cowboys went into this offseason with a singular focus; improve their shaky defense. Not that their defense was all that terrible. They were the 11th ranked defense and held their opponents under 20 points in half their games.

Their defense failed to show up when it counted though. Dallas’s defense allowed 30 or more points in four games and three of those came against division opponents.

New York Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning lit them up for two of those games while Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles were responsible for one of the other two.

The last game came against Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions. Of course Tony Romo did spot them a couple of touchdowns by throwing two pick-sixes in that game so the defense can’t be totally blamed for that one.

But they should definitely shoulder most of the blame though. The Cowboys were still ahead even after Romo’s two disastrous interceptions but the defense allowed the Lions to score 17 points in the fourth quarter giving Detroit the win.

While that was a tough loss, nothing hurts more than losing to a division opponent and Dallas lost all four of their division games versus the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants which is why the Cowboys spent so much of their offseason upgrading their defense.

They signed cornerback Brandon Carr away from the Kansas City Chiefs, free agent linebacker Don Connor from the Carolina Panthers, safety Brodney Pool from the New York Jets and pulled off a coup by moving up eight spots to select LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne on draft day.

The Cowboys made a few moves to improve their offense but nothing major. As much as people liked to criticize Romo’s decision–making and Dallas’s inconsistent running game, the Cowboys really didn’t have problems scoring.

The Cowboys scored 30 or more points on five occasions last year including a 44-point performance versus the Buffalo Bills. Of course there were games when the Cowboys had troubles getting in the endzone but they were able to score at least 13 points or more in all but two games; both of them 7-point scoring affairs against the Philadelphia Eagles.

So the Cowboys aren’t as worried about their offense. Even though they had problems keeping their running backs healthy last season they were still able to put up points consistently. Their biggest problem was keeping the other team out of the endzone.

And the Cowboys are hoping that they have fixed that problem with the acquisitions they have made this offseason. If defensive coordinator Rob Ryan can incorporate all of the new faces and get this unit playing better then there may actually be some “D” in Dallas this year.

Roosevelt Hall is an NFL Blogger for The Sport Mentalist and an NBA Blogger for The Sport Mentalist 2. He is also a Sports Reporter for Pro Sports Lives. He can be contacted at and be sure to follow him on Twitter @sportmentalist.

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