Dallas Cowboys: Run Defense shows 2020 flashes

Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Sunday afternoon was supposed to be a stress free affair for Cowboys fans. The 6-1 Dallas Cowboys just beat the Vikings with their backup QB Cooper Rush and now they get to feast on a lackluster Broncos team who just traded away their franchise piece Von Miller.

In theory, the way the Dallas offense had been buzzing and the way the Dallas defense just clamped an offense consisting of Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson, and Adam Thielen, Denver should have been smooth sailing.

And yet, the Dallas Cowboys were not up to the challenge.

This Randy Gregory quote sums up yesterday perfectly:

"“We got outplayed. We got out-hit. … (Defense allowed) a lot of leaky yards. Made contact with the running back & he got another 3 yards after contact. Things like that we got to clean up. We weren’t really doing that earlier in the year.”- Per Jon Machota"

While both aspects of the defense, both run and pass, were abysmal, the run was especially brutal. Mike Nolan brutal.

One key stat that jumps out at me is Time of Possession. The Broncos held the ball for 41:12. Any time a defense allows that your offense has little to no chance of putting up the necessary points to win a football game.

When a team is able to pound the ground and eat away at the clock all game, this is the result that will take place. Before Sunday’s contest, the Dallas Cowboys defense has allowed a stout 88.3 rushing yards per game which was good for 5th in the NFL. After the game, the Cowboys have moved down to 10th after giving 190 yards on the ground.

Denver wasn’t really feared for their rushing attack. That’s not to knock on the talent’s of their backs both Williams and Melvin Gordon are solid but the O-Line is relatively weak and Teddy Bridgewater has not exactly been the most efficient with 4.6 Air Yards per Pass Attempt.

Often when a team gets pushed around like this on the ground, it’s a sign they didn’t come out with the fire that is required to win a football game. The Dallas Cowboys were hot before this game and the Broncos were not. This is a game they didn’t think they would have to sweat too much to win. The Broncos punched first and the Cowboys sat there, took it and never punched back. I consider this game to be a shutout. 30-16 does not reveal the story of this game.

Now before we enter into a panic because we lost to the now 5-4 Denver Broncos, I must remind you that the Cowboys were on a six game winning streak before Sunday. We are still a contender and we still have tons of talent on the roster. Micah Parsons shined yesterday with 2.5 sacks. We’ve got a franchise QB, a top ten defense, and an elite core of players. This game will hopefully be looked at like a wake up call and we can finish out the year strong.

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Next. With loss to Denver, Dallas successfully avoids "peaking too early". dark

Falcons up next should help us find that momentum we had only a week ago.

  • Published on 11/09/2021 at 13:01 PM
  • Last updated at 11/09/2021 at 12:16 PM