By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
This all had owner Jerry Jones, who turned 65 last Saturday, repeatedly punching his fist into an open palm. Because as recently as 2003 the Cowboys defense was ranked No. 1. Because as long as we can remember—using their top selection on a defensive player eight of the last 10 years—they've been spending free-agent budgets and investing draft picks on defense.
It's only October, but the Cowboys' defense smells like Christmas. Last Christmas. It was in December that Dallas was torched by the likes of Drew Brees, Jeff Garcia and even Jon Kitna. In their last six home games, the Cowboys are allowing 32.3 points. Not a good omen when, after temporarily healing against Minnesota, they face Kitna, Eli Manning, Brett Favre and Donovan McNabb twice. Yikes.
I'd like to tell you help is on the way. Getting Henry back won't hurt. Picking on an offense its own size should be therapeutic. Jackson was only 9 of 23 against Chicago for a measly 136 yards. Granted, rookie running back Adrian Peterson ran over the Bears for 224 yards and three touchdowns, but, if anything, the Cowboys have shown they can stop the run.
Or, more likely, is it just that teams no longer need to run because it's so damn easy to pass?