Cowboys lose defensive identity
David Moore / Reporter
Washington was the fourth consecutive team to hit the Cowboys defense for 30 or more points.
Afterwards, linebacker Bradie James said the group’s “identity is all over the place” since Wade Phillips was dismissed and replaced with Paul Pasqualoni as defensive coordinator.
“Everyone is still trying to learn what to do,” James said. “I think that’s why.”
It was an observation, not a criticism. James simply meant the group is still adapting to the changes in scheme that have gone in since the coaching change and how there hasn’t been enough time to get the repetition needed for it to become second nature.
It also ignores the fact that this defense lost its identity before the coaching change. The defensive identity in recent seasons has been stopping the run and getting pressure on the quarterback. Those were absent early in the season and the defense unraveled as a result. The Cowboys gave up 41, 35 and 45 points in their final three games under Phillips.
There is no shame in giving up 30 or more points to New Orleans, Indianapolis and Philadelphia. But Washington and Rex Grossman? The Redskins averaged 13.7 points in the four games leading up to Sunday’s contest. Their offense hadn’t broken the 30-point barrier all season until that game.
The Cowboys defense has now given up 396 points. That is only nine points shy of the most points in club history with two games left.