By: Taylor Ford
Why should you believe the Dallas Cowboys are actually going to have a better defense in the 2021-2022 season? I am going to give you three reasons–
Building the Defense through the draft
With a new season, comes new hopes and dreams for this franchise. The Dallas Cowboys have been on the chase for a super bowl ring for over twenty years and it seems to be an endless search for past glory. It is so cliché, yet so true, defenses win championships. The Boys seem to always fall short of having a good defense just about every year. That very well could change as this last draft has looked a lot like the 2005 draft. The Only other time the Dallas Cowboys have selected over 7 picks and came out with only 2 offensive players. That year they selected Demarcus Ware in the first round. They also acquired guys like—Chris Canty, Jay Ratliff, and Marcus Spears. Needless to say, after this year’s draft, the Cowboys have positioned themselves to get a lot better. Parsons was arguably the best defensive player in the draft and will immediately help the team. Kelvin Joseph and Jabril Cox are going to end up starters on the team as well. Jerry Jones literally drafted nine defensive players out of eleven picks. The team is bound to hit on a couple of them. Along with the three said players, the Boys drafted two defensive lineman that could fill the middle of the line nicely. The biggest issue for the Cowboys last season was stopping the run and defense in general, this draft helps fix that tremendously.
Bringing in the right personnel
Not only did the Cowboys have a defensive minded draft board, but before the draft, they have been actively trying to make it better. Jerry Jones brought in Dan Quinn to help fix the defensive woes. Quinn comes in as the defensive coordinator and possibly the answer to all the problems on defense. This is the same coach that was the defensive coordinator for the legion of boom in Seattle. He brings a fresh mindset and will have an actual offseason to get these guys prepared for the change in the system. He also has done everything in his power to get the guys he wants on that defense. That includes the free-agent signings like Damontae Kazee and Keanu Neal who both played for him in Atlanta. Also, with the drafted players like the skyscraper cornerbacks he wanted. Dan Quinn said he will be bringing more of a 3-4 look, but really it will primarily be a nickel set. He will have four players rushing the quarterback and two “mid” linebackers, along with five defensive backs as the base package. With a full offseason, this package could help the players that he is bringing in, strive to become the best players that they can be. It also allows the veteran players to play in a versatile system that can maximize their abilities to make plays. Things like having Demarcus Lawrence stand instead of coming out of a three-point stance. Having Jaylon Smith blitz the quarterback more often instead of being a liability in coverage. Allowing Leighton to play weak side and drop in coverage on passing downs. With Dan Quinn’s defensive scheme and mindset, this team could look a lot better in just one year if he brings that LOB swagger with him.
It Can’t get any worse… right?
Surely the defense could not get any worse from the atrocious season they had last year. Even though the Dallas Cowboys only gave up the 21st most passing yards last season, the stats do not show the truth in that aspect. Teams passed all over the Cowboys all season long at the beginning of games. After they gained a lead, they would run all over Dallas. The Cowboys gave up the 2nd most rushing yards in the league last season (2541 yards) and it was a franchise record. Not exactly a record you want to break. Offenses seem to have had their way against the historically bad Dallas defense. So, what is Jerry’s response? An overwhelming number of defensive players through the draft and free agency, along with a great defensive coordinator. It is also possible and likely that the Boys will be bringing in more veterans to maximize this rosters potential. The veterans that have returned from last year will be playing with some boulders on their shoulders. They all should want to come out this coming season and prove to everyone that the problem was the system they were in and not them. The Jones’ have said in recent interviews that they realize there was a major problem on the defensive side of the ball. All boxes have been checked off to deem that statement to be true. The Cowboys entire organization has done everything they can to get help on defense and I do not think they are done just yet.