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    Are The Cowboys Now A Defense-First Team?

    The Cowboys sit at 1-1 after the opening two weeks of the season, with a noticeable shift in how the team wins games.

    Everyone loves the high-octane that the Cowboys have produced over the last few years. was throwing for colossal yardage, receivers in , (now with Cleveland), and others were putting up huge numbers.

    But with several key offensive weapons unavailable or no longer with the team, there has been a discernible difference in what makes the team go.

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    We all know what last year looked like. A 12-5 record with the offense averaging 31.2 points per game (ranked first) and in eight games, had over 400 total yards of offense, adding two games where Dallas exceeded 500 yards of total offense, and you get an idea of exactly how easy it was for them to move the football.

    CeeDee Lamb (1,102 yards, six touchdowns), Amari Cooper (865 yards, eight touchdowns), (843 yards, five touchdowns), (808 yards, eight touchdowns), and (602 yards, six touchdowns) all showed that the Dallas offense could put up points at will.

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    With Cooper and Wilson gone, along with a rather beat-up , the once much-vaunted offense is a shadow of its former self. The fear factor is no longer there.

    In the first two games of the , we have seen the defense take huge strides yet again. While stopping the run seems to be still problem number one that needs fixing, the and coverage led by continues to be a strength.

    So, after years of being so offensively dominant, there is now a natural thought that the Cowboys go as the defense goes.

    The Cowboys' defense has not allowed more than 19 points in the opening two games and has not allowed more than 347 total yards per Pro Football Reference. Against Tom Brady and Joe Burrow, that is some feat. That'll work. Six times last year, the Cowboys' defense kept teams under 20 points.

    With having to lean more on Dan Quinn's side of the ball to help bail out the offense's deficiencies, Dallas could turn its persona into a defensive beast that is tough to score against. While unlikely to match its 35 turnovers from last season, the Cowboys' defense will need to get its fair share of takeaways in 2022.

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    Against the Buccaneers, the defense (Micah Parsons) sacked Tom Brady twice, had six tackles for loss, and had four hits. On Sunday against the Bengals, Dallas sacked Burrow six times, had eight tackles for loss, and had nine quarterback hits along with a forced fumble. Parsons and combined for four sacks, four tackles for loss, and seven quarterback hits alone.

    That is some start to a season, and for many, it has become clear that the team will go as the defense goes. The offense still needs to do its fair share of the workload though. Long, sustained drives are sometimes necessary, and when the defense creates a turnover, cash in.

    For years we have admired the offensive power of the Cowboys. Now, there is a shift in how the team goes, given the power of Dan Quinn's unit.

    Make no mistake, even with Dak Prescott and Michael Gallup back; this is a defense-first football team. What is the old saying? Defense wins championships, hmm, interesting.

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    Adam Schultz
    Adam Schultz
    Hi my name is Adam. I am a freelance sports journalist and an avid Cowboys fan. I cover the league for Sportskeeda as an analyst and love to talk all things football here at Inside The Star. Follow me on Twitter @aschultz_15.

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    Lawrence C. Baker

    Thank goodness for Dan Quinn and his defensive unit. Nobody’s going to mistake them for the 1985 Chicago Bears or the 1974 Pittsburgh Steelers, but the Cowboys have some talent on their defense. Micah Parsons is the best on that side of the ball of course. If only Kellen Moore could coach players to the level that Dan Quinn does and has. The difference between in touch and in over your head as it pertains to the overrated Moore!