The Dallas Cowboys defense has been the focus of some criticism recently.
Some observers have suggested that the unit’s lack of improvement could have a negative impact on the Cowboys playoff chances.
However, it is difficult to deny that the Cowboys’ defense has not been a big reason for their recent struggles.
The team has allowed an average of 21.7 points per game through the first seven games of the season.
This includes a combined record of 24-20 when the Cowboys rank first in the league in scoring defense.
Dallas has been outscored by a combined 19.6 points per contest over the first six games of their divisional series against the St. Louis Rams.
Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli has been adamant that the defense will not be a major reason for the team’s recent struggles, but it appears that he is wrong.
Despite the team being ranked dead last in scoring against, Dallas has allowed only 31.5 points per match.
They have allowed just six touchdowns.
They are allowing just nine of those through the air.
They also have allowed an incredible 17.0 yards per play through the offensive line.
So what has the Cowboys defense been doing well over the last two weeks?
One of the most important aspects of the defense is its ability to contain opponents.
In addition to the excellent performance in the loss to the Rams, the Cowboys have been outstanding against the run.
The defense has held opponents to an average rushing average of 1.84 yards per carry.
They rank seventh in the NFL with a mark of 2.12 yards per rush.
It is no secret that the offense has struggled on the ground as well.
Dallas ranks 26th in the NFC in rushing offense (285.3 yards per game).
They are just 23rd in scoring offense (35.2 points per outing).
They rank 29th in passing offense (314.7 yards per contest).
However, they rank second in the AFC in passing yards (7,967).
Their average of 10.7 rushing yards per attempt is a career high.
In terms of total offense, Dallas ranks 30th in scoring at 1,932.7.
They average 6.4 yards per drive, which is a new low for the Cowboys.
The Cowboys offense has been one of the few bright spots in their recent fortunes.
This unit has allowed just 17.8 points per kickoff return, which ranks second in football behind only the Kansas City Chiefs.
The unit is averaging 4.6 yards per kickoff and is second in all of football in total yards (9,715).
This unit is ranked 23rd against the pass, averaging 3.2 yards per completion.
Their average is 4.4.
The best aspect of the unit has been their defensive end rotation.
After the team acquired Josh Brent, the team replaced him with defensive tackle DeMarcus Lawrence.
Lawrence has been a major contributor on defense.
He has forced two fumbles and has recorded four quarterback hurries.
Lawrence was able to rush for more than 200 yards on five occasions, and he has recorded six sacks.
He also has a forced fumble.
Lawrence is also one of only two defensive tackles in the AFL to record 10 total tackles.
Lawrence also has had a fumble recovery.
Lawrence will be counted on to make plays on the defensive line when Dallas faces St. Lucie, Florida next week.
In fact, he has a sack, a quarterback hit, two quarterback hurrys, and three quarterback stops.
Lawrence can be counted as one of just two defensive linemen in the game to record four sacks, a fumble recover, a forced fumbles, and a sack.
This could be one of several key plays for Lawrence.
If he can create a big play on a first down, he will have a big game against the Panthers.
If Lawrence can make a play on third down and stop the run, he could have another big game.
Defensive end Dontari Poe has also been key in the defense.
Poe has played a major role in the Cowboys success.
He is the only defensive lineman to record five sacks, six quarterback hurleys, two batted passes, and one fumble recoverions.
He leads the Cowboys with six quarterback stops, as well as five tackles for loss and two sacks.
In the game against St. David’s, Poe led the Cowboys in tackles with 12.
Poe also led the team in quarterback hits with six.
He recorded two quarterback stops and a quarterback hurry.
Poe leads the team with five quarterback hurys, with two batted balls, one fumble, and an interception.
He ranks second among the Cowboys defensive linemen with a quarterback stop rate of 18.4%.
Defensive end Chris Maragos has been on a tear.
Maragos recorded eight quarterback hurres, two blocked punts, two forced fouls, one forced fumble, one quarterback hit and one quarterback stop.
He currently ranks second on the team among all defensive ends with a sack rate of 4.9%.
Maragos also leads the league with six forced f