Look out, the Dallas Cowboys’ defense is for real

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 18: David Irving /

After a slow start, the Dallas Cowboys defense ranks third in sacks, making the front seven is one of the best in the NFL, and a force to be reckoned with.

The Dallas Cowboys weakest link is no longer weak. The defense that allowed the Los Angeles Rams and the hated Green Bay Packers to score 35 points apiece and come back in beat them in heartbreaking fashion is no longer there.

In fact, those back-to-back losses seem more like an awful nightmare now. Since losing to the Packers, the Cowboys have won three straight games in dominant and convincing fashion.

Of course, the Cowboys offense has scored 28 points or more in six straight games to help the cause. But it’s the defense that has stepped up and now gives the Cowboys legitimate postseason hopes.

After holding the high scoring Kansas Chiefs offense to only 17 points, the Cowboys defense has allowed only five touchdowns in its last three games, giving up 15.3 points a game. Not to mention, it’s the fourth time this season the Cowboys have held an opponent under 20 points.

Translation: The Cowboys defense is for real. Believe it.

Over the last three games, Dallas’ defense has recorded 11 sacks and forced seven turnovers, two of those being interceptions that sealed the game for Dallas.

I’m not saying its the most dominant defense in the NFL or it’s playing at the level of the 2000 Baltimore Ravens defense.

What I’m simply saying is that they’re an improved  defense, with potential to be a championship defense.

The proof came against the Chiefs and their explosive offense. Nobody predicted the Chiefs to score only 17 points.

predicted a high scoring game for the Chiefs and  I certainly didn’t expect the Cowboys defense to stifle Alex Smith, Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce.

The critics argued that Dallas’ defense blew out a pathetic San Francisco 49ers offense, and obliterated the Washington Redskins offensive line because it was full of second teamers. Therefore, the Chiefs game would be the real litmus test for Dallas’ defense.

Well, the Dallas defense passed the litmus test easily. They beat the Chiefs so handily that the score should’ve been 28-10 instead of 28-17 if you exclude the freak play before halftime when Smith threw a 56-yard touchdown “Hill Mary” to Tyreek. If not for that unforeseen play, the Chiefs might not have scored a touchdown at all.

Over the last three games, Dallas’ defense has recorded 11 sacks and forced seven turnovers, two of those being interceptions that sealed the game for Dallas.

David Irving has tallied six sacks since he returned to the starting lineup. DeMarcus Lawrence has 10.5 sacks on the season. For the first game all season Tank didn’t get a sack but he disrupted the Chiefs all day long.

Since Dallas defense held the Chiefs in check, that means this defense is more than capable of stopping any high-octane offense. (Including those evil Philadelphia Eagles)

To put this in perspective, Dallas held the Chiefs third-ranked offense to 323 total yards, down from 377.9 yards per game. Dallas’ defense held the NFL’s leading rusher, Hunt, to a measly 37 yards, and the Chiefs to only 68 rushing yards.

Remember this is the same defense that allowed running backs to go over 100 yards rushing with ease. For Dallas’ defense to dismantle the Chiefs running game in this manner, speaks volumes.

Further, Dallas held the league’s number one ranked quarterback, Smith, to only 263 yards passing. Once again, that’s a shocker.

Safety Jeff Heath snapped Smith’s streak of 298 consecutive passes without an interception when he intercepted Smith’s pass late in the fourth quarter.

Another reason this defense is legit is that linebackers Sean Lee and Anthony Hitchens are playing so well.  With this tandem, opposing teams have not rushed for more than 103 yards against this defense. Also, this allows Jaylon Smith to play less (17 plays). And when Smith plays less, he produces more.

With Irving playing at the 3-technique tackle position, Dallas is 3-0. The dynamic Irving now has six sacks in four games, and is proving to be the missing link on Dallas’ front line.

On the other hand, Tyrone Crawford is playing solid at the right defensive end position. With Lawrence at left defensive end, the two are creating havoc for offenses.

In the last three games, this defense has been more aggressive, getting more hits on the quarterbacks, and bringing more pressure on a consistent basis.

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This has really helped the youngsters in the secondary, like Xavier Woods, Anthony Brown, and a rising star in Jourdan Lewis. Mr. Lewis is going to be special, just watch.

Speaking of the secondary, it still needs improvement, but I’m impressed because it’s getting better each and every week.

Expect Lewis, Woods, and Brown to only get better with the experience they’re gaining. I know Brown is in his second year, but the experience as a starter is invaluable.

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The best part is this defense has room to improve, from the front to the back end.

And if this defense dominates the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles in the upcoming games….watch out NFL.