After a much needed bye week, things are starting to look a lot better on the injury front for the Cowboys. Just about everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong on the defensive side of the ball against the New Orleans Saints. Drew Brees did as he usually does, shredding the defense for 392 yards and 4 touchdowns. As if that wasn’t enough Mark Ingram, who’s been MIA in the Saints backfield ran over the Cowboys for 145 yards and over 10 yards per carry. The defense could not have possibly looked worse and went from a struggling defense to a disaster zone.
Fortunately, the Cowboys don’t have to play Drew Brees again in the regular season and with the likes of Morris Claiborne, Jason Hatcher, DeMarcus Ware, and J.J Wilcox all expected to suit up against the Giants, the Cowboys defense is sure to be on a whole other level than the pathetic display in the Saints game.
Even with many key players returning the Cowboys defense is going to remain a shell of what it could be. Sean Lee, the quarterback of the defense and arguably the second most important player, behind Tony Romo, is going to remain on the sidelines. Sean Lee has more of an impact on this defense than anyone else and it’s not even close. He led the team in tackles and even at the linebacker position managed to be tied for the team lead in interceptions. The injury to Sean Lee does open the door for Bruce Carter. Carter was benched earlier on in the year and he was not pleased with it.
He played his way back into the starting lineup and without Sean Lee he’s going to have to take over his roll. After last season a lot of people were excited to see what Carter was going to do this year and with Sean Lee out he’s not going to get a better chance to showcase what he is capable of. This is a defense that needs a bost and is going to need him to start playing a whole lot better than he has been this year. If Bruce Carter can step up the new healthier secondary and defensive line could take this defense and Monte Kiffin out of the dog house, and may even be an asset rather than a liability during games.
Even when Sean Lee was playing it’s not like the Cowboys defense was one of the best in the league. Sean Lee being out just puts that much more pressure on the offense. An offense that is now in a position where there can be no more excuses. They have to put up or they are going to be shut out of the playoffs. Aside from the season ending injury to offensive lineman Brian Waters, the return of Miles Austin gives Tony Romo all the weapons he needs to lead his team to victory. The last four quarterbacks the Giants have faced is Tolzien, Pryor, Barkley and Freeman. Tony Romo is miles ahead all of them and in this vital divisional game, the success of the Cowboys will largely rest of his shoulders. Without Sean Lee Tony Romo with one of the healthiest offensive units in the NFL, one of the most dangerous wide receivers in Dez Bryant, and a great runner in DeMarco Murray, has to take over football games and get the Dallas Cowboys to the top of the NFC East.