How the dominant Dallas Cowboys defense is only getting better

(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys have come a long way, haven’t they? Just two seasons ago this defense was in “historically bad” territory. Mike Nolan’s tenure was a train wreck of epic proportions and the offense, sans Dak Prescott, couldn’t do much to stop the slide to a 6-10 record.

One Dan Quinn and a couple nifty draft picks later, and the Dallas Cowboys are on the cusp of being something special. The defense currently ranks top-5 by many metrics, and has week to week improvement this year dropping their points against numbers from 19, to 17, to 16, to 10.

The Dallas Cowboys are quickly becoming one of the most feared defenses in the NFL and improving by the week.

The Dallas Cowboys already have arguably the best pass-rush in the NFL. The most important part of an NFL football game is the passing element. No part is more influential in determining the winner. Winning the passing game involves throwing the ball on offense AND stopping the pass in defense. Dallas has been DOMINANT against the pass.

Led my Micah Parson, the pass-rush is capable of beating anyone and has a variety of looks and formations that can free rushers without blitzing. As we discussed last week, the Cowboys lead the NFL in games/stunts. Twisting linemen and linebackers has freed opportunities without stealing from coverage, and Trevon Diggs is quickly establishing himself as a truly elite CB.

"“We’ve been making people minimize their gameplan,” Micah Parsons said. “Really making people earn it. When you make people earn it, people really don’t want to earn it no more.”"

The Dallas Cowboys defense has only given up four touchdowns all season and they’ve faced some pretty strong competition. The Bucs are a Super Bowl favorite, the Bengals are the AFC defending champs, and the Giants are shockingly 3-1 and have one of the best rushing attacks in the NFL.

The only weak part of the Dallas Cowboys defense is their rushing defense but even that hasn’t been out of control all things considered. The Dallas D is giving up negative EPA in both areas of defense with success rates against below 43%. The defense is winning.

And there’s reason to believe the improvement will continue…

The Dallas Cowboys have a couple massive tests on their hands coming up. The Rams and the Eagles are two of the best teams in the NFL right now so while the Cowboys defensive numbers may not show it against them, they have a chance to truly prove themselves against these two juggernauts (recent LA game notwithstanding).

A key reason for added optimism is the player due back on Dallas’ defense: Jayron Kearse. Since Dan Quinn came on board, Kearse has been Quinn’s special weapon. Using the safety as a LB, Kearse has been an elite run-stopper and inside coverman. He elevates this defense in both areas and has been the on-field leader for the unit since last season.

A neck injury has kept Kearse out this season so when he returns, his presence will surely be felt. Young players are slowly breaking through as well. DaRon Bland, one of the preseasons biggest stars, saw his first real action at CB last week. All he did was snag his first INT.

Damone Clark is a star LB prospect who’s medically redshirted for the first portion of the season. He’s going to be a cornerstone when he gets in the fold. Neville Gallimore is in the midst of a breakout and Osa Odighizuwa is getting better by the day.

Must Read. Trevon Diggs is making fools of his critics. light

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Just about every player is on the uptick and the unit as a whole is blending in magical fashion. They are a fearsome unit that’s getting better by the week. That’s a scary revelation for the NFL