Jerry Jones has watched his Dallas Cowboys manage a 1-1 start to the 2020 NFL season, the lone victory coming in dramatic fashion with a miracle comeback due in large part to a significant miscue committed by the Atlanta Falcons special teams unit. In the two games, the Cowboys offense has shown notable improvement. The defense has not.
The Dallas defense has struggled and is statistically in the bottom 10 among NFL teams in multiple categories. You wouldn’t know that by listening to Jones during his weekly radio interview. And what Jones said about the defense wasn’t just surprising, it also sent a very concerning message to Cowboys fans about the future of the team.
Jerry Jones brings in new defensive personnel for Dallas Cowboys
With the firing of Jason Garrett and hiring of new head coach Mike McCarthy and defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, the Dallas Cowboys were destined to look different on defense in 2020. And they do. This past offseason, Jerry Jones made numerous moves and brought in a lot of new faces.
The biggest and most promising move came with the signing of defensive tackle and six-time Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy. In addition to McCoy, the Cowboys brought in other front-line help with a pair of Pro Bowlers in Everson Griffen from the Minnesota Vikings and Dontari Poe from the Carolina Panthers.
On the back end of the defense, the Cowboys got a steal in the second round of the draft selecting cornerback Trevon Diggs. They also found help with the additions of veteran Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, and linebacker Aldon Smith, who the NFL reinstated after five years away from the game.
Dallas defense struggles in 2020
Before the season started, the Dallas Cowboys defense suffered a huge loss when McCoy sustained a season-ending injury in the first week of training camp. They also had a change of heart on Clinton-Dix and released him.
Despite those two key departures, the Cowboys still thought they had a solid defense in place. It’s hard to accurately forecast an entire season after just two games, but even that small sample size can offer some indication of future results. The Cowboys do not have a solid defense. In fact, it’s statistically one of the worst in the NFL after two games.
The Cowboys rank 25th in both total defense and scoring defense. The porous Dallas D is allowing 401 yards per game and surrendering an unhealthy 29.5 points per game. Smith and Griffen have amassed a sack apiece. That’s the team total. The defense has a lone interception.
Jerry Jones’ comments don’t match defensive unit’s performance
After the Dallas Cowboys’ first win of the 2020 season, a miracle comeback finish on Sunday over the Atlanta Falcons, Jerry Jones was in high spirits during his weekly appearance on 105.3 The Fan. Jones said the team was looking forward to facing Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks on the road this weekend and he believes the Dallas defense is up to the challenge.
When asked about former All-Pro Damon Snacks Harrison visiting with teams and whether or not the Cowboys might potentially be interested in signing him or any other interior lineman for what many perceive to be a struggling defense, Jones offered a surprising response.
“I think we’re pretty satisfied with what we have on our roster. Poe is really performing at a higher than expectation level,” Jones said. “You’re seeing in Trysten Hill, you’re seeing a guy that’s performing at where we thought he would be when we drafted him in the second round and didn’t have a first pick when we drafted him last year. He’s really stepping up and he is one of the highlights of the guys that have stepped up and playing at a high level.”
Dontari Poe is exceeding expectations with a total of three tackles in two games. Trysten Hill’s high level of play has resulted in six tackles and one quarterback pressure during that same time span.
For Cowboys fans, it’s been a long time since Super Bowl glory for the franchise. 25 years to be exact. And with Jerry Jones, the general manager who makes all personnel decisions, describing the performances of Poe and Hill as exceeding expectations while the numbers clearly indicate otherwise, it could be 25 years or longer before Dallas gets another chance at hoisting the Lombardi Trophy again.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.