Dallas Cowboys, Big “D” As In Defense, Defense


Apr 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Randy Gregory (Nebraska) and Mary Gregory arrive on the gold carpet before the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

When the Dallas Cowboys said they were going to address their defensive needs, we all knew that was a no-brainer. We knew the positions they would target. We all knew the importance of fixing the defense. But what we didn’t know was how fixated they were about the defense.

Before the draft, Jerry Jones and Co. said they were sticking to the board and were going to address their defensive needs. That was a big understatement. No smokescreen here. They were for real.

The Cowboys were so focused on the defense that all of their picks were defensive players except for three. They drafted a CB, two DE’s, and two LB’s. For a second, lets forget about the the one TE and two OT’s they drafted. We will discuss that later.

Everyone understood the importance of drafting a pass rusher. Drafting Randy Gregory with the 60th pick was the steal of the draft in my opinion. To draft a top 5 or top 10 talent like Gregory is certainly a gift. With Gregory playing along side Demarcus Lawrence and Greg Hardy, the pass rush is definitely a strength. 

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For good measure, the Cowboys selected DE Ryan Russell in the fifth round. Selecting the athletic CB Byron Jones with their first pick helped a pathetic secondary minus Orlando Scandrick. Jones can definitely compete for one of the starting CB positions. Or maybe play Safety.

The Cowboys were already set at the LB position. With the athletic Rolando McClain re-signing for another year and the often injured but productive Sean Lee starting, and the impressive Anthony Hitchens in the mix, the Cowboys have one of the best linebacking corps in the NFL. Not to mention the Cowboys picked up FA LB’s Andrew Gachkar and Jasper Brinkley, plus they have Will Smith and Cam Lawrence. But that didn’t stop the Cowboys from drafting two more LB’s in the draft, fourth round pick Damien Wilson out of Minnesota and Mark Nzeocha from Wyoming.

Now the Cowboys have one of the deepest linebacking corps in the NFL.

The Cowboys were so focused on defense that they neglected one of their major concerns. Or at least a concern to every Cowboys fan and NFL expert. That’s the RB position. The Cowboys didn’t draft one single RB.

Even RB’s like Duke Johnson, Tevin Coleman, T.J. Yeldon, Ameer Abdullah, Matt Jones, David Johnson, and Jay Ajayi were there for the taking. Anyone of them could have helped the Cowboys running game. Instead, the Cowboys went defense. And you really scratched your head when they picked two OL and a TE. You just knew they were going to draft a RB.

Well it didn’t happen. Which says the Cowboys really do believe in their stable of RB’s or they have a wild card they’re waiting to play. Waiting for the right opportunity to play its hand. Is that wild card Adrian Peterson. Who knows!

Like the victims afraid of going to sleep because of the fear of “Freddie Kruger” killing them in their dreams, the Cowboys are haunted by their defensive nightmares from previous years. From 2011 to last season, you can see why the Cowboys have drafted a combined 12 defensive players in 2014 and 2015.


In the season finale against the hated rival the New York Giants, in a winner takes all game, the Cowboys watched their weak secondary get torched by Victor Cruz. Cruz humiliated Terence Newman and the Cowboys, as the Giants beat the Cowboys and became Super Bowl Champions. To correct that problem, Jones traded up to draft Morris Claiborne in the 2012 draft. Claiborne has been so injury prone the Cowboys drafted Bryon Jones this year to challenge Claiborne and Brandon Carr.


Once again in the season finale with the division title on the line, the Cowboys found themselves playing rookie QB Robert Griffin III and his hated Redskins. Although the RGIII was playing on a bad leg, the Cowboys maligned and injury prone defense couldn’t stop the Redskins as they won the NFC East title. When a QB with a bad knee can out run the whole defense, you know your defense is awful.


This team had the worse defense in the NFL and the worse in franchise history. This Cowboys’ defense gave up 40 first downs to the Saints in a nationally televised game where the Cowboys were slaughtered. Despite its awful defense, the Cowboys still had a chance to make it to the playoffs. For the third straight year, the Cowboys would face a hated divisional rival in the last game of the season for the NFC East Crown. This time it would be the Philadelphia Eagles. At home. Despite a hard fought game by the defense, it wasn’t enough as Kyle Orton threw an interception to end and lose the game.


We all saw how the Cowboys defense improved drastically under Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli. The defense made key stops this past season en route to a 12-4 record and a playoff victory. But the ghosts from the past would come back to haunt the Cowboys’ defense as it lost to Green Bay and the “Discount Double Check” QB, Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers would beat the Cowboys with one leg.

That’s the second time in three seasons a one legged, injured QB has ended the Cowboys season.

But that won’t happen again.

Not in the foreseeable future.

Because the Cowboys took care of that during the draft.

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