Despite injuries all across the defense, this defense still gave up the most yards per game in the entire NFL. But, it does not end there. The Cowboys finished 30th in pass defense and 27th in run defense. I am aware that key starters like Jay Ratliff & Anthony Spencer were out for the season early. But, it is absolutely no excuse that the Cowboys cannot win some games when they score 48 points. Many key players missed significant time with injuries. Players such as Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, DeMarcus Ware, Justin Durant, and Morris Claiborne missed time with injuries.
There is no excuse for blowing games such as Green Bay, Detroit, and Denver. In those three games, the offense put this defense in a place to win. But, like you know, they failed to do that all three times. In the beginning of the year, this defense on life support by getting turnovers. But as the season winded down, the defense was not able to get turnovers.
With the draft approaching, it is very clear that this organization will be drafting a mostly all-defensive draft. It is good news to hear that the Cowboys will finally address their defensive line in the draft. On the other hand, it looks like Kiffin will be returning for his second season in Dallas. That is the bad news. But the good news is that they will be getting new defensive players and this defense will be able to get healthy again. 2014’s defense could be much better than 2013’s if everyone is able to stay healthy. Sean Lee was on
his way to a defensive player of the year award before he was sidelined with an injury. A reoccurring hamstring injury stunted Claiborne’s development in his second year in the big league.
It is clear that this defense needs to be significantly better. Jerry Jones could have made a statement earlier in the offseason by firing Kiffin. But instead, Jerry Jones showed us again why he is too inept to make decisions for this team. The Cowboys need to have a better defense in 2014 for this team to compete. Kiffin’s tenure in Dallas is riding on this team’s ability to stay healthy. Until this entire team can stay healthy, this team’s ceiling is not very high.
In a division that is extremely weak, the Cowboys need to capitalize and make the playoffs. If they do not, this team will not make the tournament for a fifth consecutive season. If Dallas does not make the playoffs, expect this entire staff to be gone. Players like Dez Bryant, DeMarco Murray, Tyron Smith, and Sean Lee are in the middle of their primes. It is extremely important that this team does not waste the best years of their lives in the midst of mediocrity.