When the Dallas Cowboys take the field against the San Francisco 49ers next Sunday, they will be looking for something more than a win. Coming off of a bye week, they will be ready to face an 0-6 team on the road and make a statement.
A team with more than one issue, the Cowboys will try to turn their season around and start their uphill battle to make it to the playoffs.
In their 2-3 start, this team has had a lot of ups and downs. Unfortunately, more downs than ups.
It’s safe to say that this team’s biggest problem has been the defense. This comes as no surprise, as the Cowboys haven’t had a good defense in a long time. Over the past few years, the best that Dallas has been able to achieve is a bend-but-don’t-break defense.
After six weeks, the Cowboys rank as the 29th defense in points allowed. That doesn’t even sound like a bend-but-don’t-break defense.
It seems kinda, uh, not great that Dallas is ranked 29th in scoring defense, despite limiting one of their five opponents to 3 points.
A lot of fans and analysts will say this defense is in “reconstruction mode”. I truly don’t believe that to be the case. This defense is not being reconstructed. It’s being developed. The talent is there! It’s just a matter of improving.
This Sunday, the Cowboys should be winning comfortably. The offense should put more than 20 points on the board, and the defense could use a big game.
They need a big game. They haven’t been good enough, and a confidence boost against San Francisco is what they need. After the 49ers, the schedule doesn’t get much easier, as the Cowboys will have to play the Redskins, the Chiefs, the Falcons and the Eagles in consecutive weeks.
Five games into the season, the linebacker position has been far from good. Jaylon Smith shouldn’t be starting right now. He might become a great LB in the future, but he isn’t there yet.
With Anthony Hitchens and Sean Lee healthy at the same time, Marinelli’s rush defense could improve a lot this Sunday. Expect to see a lot less from Jaylon this week. Carlos Hyde has 360 yards in the season. He shouldn’t be a threat for the Cowboys.
The secondary should be ready to face rookie QB C.J. Beathard. Give him a proper welcome to the league. If DeMarcus Lawrence, David Irving and the rest of the DL are able to pressure the rookie early in the game, perhaps they can produce some takeaways.
This defense needs a big time performance. With a lot of young players, a game like that could boost up their confidence and from one week to the next they can be a very improved unit.
I’m convinced that this is a group of guys who will be improving week after week. What now might seem like a mediocre defense, will probably be more than decent when December comes around.