Dallas Cowboys give Dan Quinn two big problems to solve

: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports /

“The best laid plans,” am I right? No matter how well you strategize, plan, and design, something always pops up that throws the whole thing off the track. Dan Quinn knows this first-hand having to fill a role both in his secondary and on the defensive line, all at a time when the Dallas Cowboys can least afford to falter.

The Dallas Cowboys have lost key members of their defense in consecutive weeks. First, Anthony Brown’s season-ending injury against the Colts, then Johnathan Hankins’ regular-season-ending injury against the Texans.

The Dallas Cowboys must find a way to stop the run without Hankins and defend the pass with the maligned Kelvin Joseph

Last week Cowboys Nation how the Cowboys plan to replace Anthony Brown at CB. By sliding Kelvin Joseph into his role, the Cowboys have adopted a true, “next man up” mentality. Did it work? kind of…

As we’ve discussed ad nauseum the past two weeks, it’s all about changing the coverage to fill Joseph’s strengths. Dan Quinn looks like he adjusted, but it could have been match-up specific and not an overt attempt to help Joseph.

The reality is the Dallas Cowboys have one of the most predictable secondaries in the NFL and he rarely beats opponents by means of deception back in the secondary.

It seems this predictability is a disservice to his secondary and missed opportunity for an experienced coach like Dan Quinn. Mixing in some surprises and playing to KJ’s strengths could help in multiple ways. It’s something we’re paying extra close attention to this week specifically.

The loss of Johnathan Hankins is almost equally as painful. The Dallas Cowboys, already porous against the run, can ill-afford to lose girth in the middle. They now primarily rely on Quinton Bohanna and Carlos Watkins to fill the void.

While they did well shutting down Houston’s RBs, they again struggled against a mobile QB. Not only did they give up a couple key runs to Jeff Driskle, but they got lucky on few more that could have been fairly disastrous.

At no point have the Dallas Cowboys shown they have the ability to stop a running QB this season, and with the Jalen Hurts and the Eagles looming, there isn’t much time left. Dan Quinn now must do so without his man in the middle, which is no small task.

The Dallas Cowboys offense has issues they must work out as well. As we discuss below, replacing Terence Steele won’t be easy. And the Cowboys are embarking on a pretty dangerous strategy here in the near-future we should all be aware of.

light. Must Read. Cowboys to employ a problematic strategy on their O-line

But the Dallas Cowboys success this season has been directly linked to Dan Quinn’s defense and for the Cowboys to have any type of postseason success this winter, they’ll need the very best from this defense. To do that, Quinn must figure out how to handle these two issues.