Two wins in two consecutive weeks; what’s more, two wins in four days! This is not something Cowboys Nation is very accustomed to. It’s a first in the season, and it just comes at the right time.
Nevertheless, we have to take into account the fact that both wins came against losing-record teams. I mean, these wins were always expected to happen. My intention is not to rain on your parade, only to curb a little bit that enthusiasm. The Cowboys are not going to the Superbowl this year. However, they have taken big steps into making the playoffs.
Everybody is now talking about Tony Romo’s perfect second half (and outstanding last series of the first half) against the Raiders; or maybe they are quite happy that Bill Callahan finally found some running game. But me, I’m just weird, I’d like to praise the Dallas Cowboys Defense.
Yeah, you read it right the first time. I want to praise the historically bad Cowboys Defense.
Let me just start by saying that they have just won a couple of vital games without its best player. And by the standards of the last few years in Dallas, that should be more than enough.
But even though they are the NFL’s worst Defense in yards allowed per game, the second-worst passing Defense, and 28th-ranked running Defense, they have managed somehow to keep all games but one (New Orleans), at hand. Sometimes, this no-name, all-criticized D, has even controlled and decided the games.
Take last Thursday’s game against Oakland, when an undrafted rookie Quarterback was having a practice day with the Cowboys secondary, but they still defined the game with two plays.
First, when nothing in the Cowboys Offense was working, they took over the game and recovered a fumble at the 3-yard line. On the next play DeMarco Murray score his first touchdown of the game.
That’s seven points right there.
Then when the game was on the line and the Raiders were threating to tie it in the 4th quarter, Brandon Carr showed why Jerry Jones paid him $50 million to come to Dallas, intercepting a Matt McGloin pass in the end zone.
If not seven points, that’s at least another three, as the Raiders were already in field goal range.
You make the math. That’s 10 points by the Defense. The Cowboys won by 7.
Everybody is so fixated with the historic amount of yards allowed by this Defense. But I think we should start considering its second place in takeaways in the league, as a more relevant stat.
Takeaways are the single most important statistic in football. You win the turnover battle, you win games. Everybody knows that.
So, they aren’t flashy and they can’t stop anybody? Well, I suppose you can’t have it all. But they are getting turnovers and they are winning games.
For that reason, today I praise this Dallas Cowboys Defense.
Follow Luis on twitter @dominguez_luisf.