Dallas Cowboys Reporter: Defense Could Be "Dominant"

It's only been two weeks, sure, but the Dallas defense looked good against the Panthers and Giants

After Hours with Amy Lawrence
October 30, 2018 - 7:00 am

USA Today Images

After the Dallas Cowboys lost to the Carolina Panthers, 16-8, in Week 1, much of the postgame chatter centered on the Dallas offense scoring just eight points – as opposed to the Dallas defense holding Carolina to 16.

Well, the defense did its job for a second straight week, holding the New York Giants to 13 points on Sunday Night Football. This time, however, the offense pulled its weight, as the Cowboys (1-1) won 20-13.

While the passing game was limited once again, the defense ranks third in the league in scoring defense (14.5 points per game allowed) and fourth in total defense.

Not bad.

“You’ve seen the flashes there for a while,” DallasCowboys.com writer David Helman said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “This defense had flashes of being really good last year. There’s a lot of talent here, whether it’s DeMarcus Lawrence playing like an All-Pro or Taco Charlton looks like he’s really taking a step forward in his second year, and then obviously there’s the story everybody knows about with Jaylon Smith coming back from that injury.”

Smith, an All-American at Notre Dame, tore his ACL and LCL in a 2015 Fiesta Bowl loss to Ohio State. He was a second-round pick in 2016.

“What’s got to be exciting for the Cowboys is it’s all translating,” Helman said. “It’s one thing for us to talk about it in training camp, and it’s one thing for it to show up in a couple of preseason snaps. But to put that together for an entire game two weeks in a row – I know they lost the Carolina game, but they put together a really good showing after a sloppy start in that season-opener.”

The Cowboys allowed just three points through three quarters against the Giants, as Saquon Barkley finished with 11 carries for 28 yards. Granted, Barkley had 14 receptions for 80 yards, but every other Giant was quiet. Odell Beckham Jr. had four catches for 51 yards, while Evan Engram had seven catches for 67 yards and a touchdown, with much of that coming in garbage time.

“This has the looks of a dominant defense,” Helman said. “Obviously it’s got to hold up for more than two weeks, but with a pass rush like that and a secondary that’s able to put a lid on a guy like Odell Beckham has got to feel good about what that means going forward. Like I said, the talent has been there for a couple of years, but to put it together on the field on game day is a different story.”

The Giants play the Seahawks (0-1) in Seattle this Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET.