Caught in the Dallas Cowboys’ horrible 2015 campaign has been the play of their defense. Last night against the Washington Redskins, the Cowboys’ defense shined. For about 58 minutes of the game, the Cowboys hadn’t given up a touchdown to a team that has played extremely well when playing in their home stadium.
Unfortunately, because of the ineptitude of the offense this year, thanks to guys like Matt Cassel and Brandon Weeden, Dallas’ defense has been faced with many short-fields and tasks throughout the season. On Monday night, the Cowboys turned the football over three times. The Cowboys’ defense held the Redskins to just 3 points on those turnovers.
Things started early in the game when Demarcus Lawrence had two sacks in the first three plays from scrimmage in the game. Lawrence has had a tough season in 2015. In his rookie year, he showed a ton of progression, but when the Cowboys signed Greg Hardy, the move sent Lawrence over to be the right defensive end where he’s had to deal with stronger and bigger right tackles. Lawrence got going on Monday night and if he can continue this play, and get pressure from both Hardy and Tyrone Crawford, the Cowboys’ defense will continue to thrive.
Sean Lee had arguably his best game of the season in Week 13, posting 13 total tackles, one sack, and two tackles that came for a loss of yards. Before the year, the Cowboys moved Lee to the weak side linebacker position so he would be able to play more in space and have less of a chance of injury. The pair of Lee and Rolando McClain has been a special one in the middle of the Cowboys’ 4-3 defense.
For the Cowboys to beat the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, they may need to play a perfect game. The defense will rise to the occasion, but if the Cowboys turn the football over on offense, something they have struggled with all season, then this game won’t even be as close. Aaron Rodgers and Kirk Cousins are not the same player. The former will be able to take advantage of takeaways. Dallas needs to play clean football going forward. That’s the only way they can win the NFC East.