Although the Dallas Cowboys are sitting atop the NFL East with a 2-3 record, their list of problems is a mile long. The injury to quarterback Dak Prescott took center stage Sunday, but it’s been the defense that’s been detrimental. Two weeks ago, the Cleveland Browns ran for more than 300 yards in scoring 49 points in a win over the Cowboys. That prompted former Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin to say that defense may need to take a page out of Mike Tyson’s book.
The Dallas Cowboys have gotten off to a woeful start
The Dallas Cowboys opened the 2020 season with tons of promise. Quarterback Dak Prescott was playing for a long-term contract. Mike McCarthy was hired to replace Jason Garrett and help take the Cowboys to the next level. It hasn’t worked out according to plan.
After five weeks, the Cowboys are 2-3. Fortunately for them, no other team in the NFC has more than one victory, so the Cowboys are in first place. The year has gotten off to an ugly start. The two wins Dallas boasts have come against a pair of winless teams in the Atlanta Falcons and the New York Giants.
Last week in a win over the visiting Giants, the Cowboys lost their quarterback for the season. A gruesome ankle injury will sideline Prescott for at least 4-6 months, leaving veteran Andy Dalton in charge. Dalton came in and guided the Cowboys to a victory on the final play of the game.
Defense has been the biggest problem for the Cowboys
After a 20-17 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the season opener, the Dallas Cowboys defense has been atrocious. In the four games since, Dallas has surrendered no less than 34 points in any game. The Cowboys have given up an average of 40 points per game in those last four contests.
Fortunately for the Cowboys, they were able to outscore the Atlanta Falcons 40-39 in Week 2. They needed a miraculous onside kick recovery to pull off the comeback against the Falcons, who are 0-5 and just fired both their head coach and general manager. The following week against the Seattle Seahawks, the Cowboys gave up 38 points.
The Cowboys’ defensive problems really came to light in Week 4. In a home game against the Cleveland Browns, the Cowboys saw the Browns put up a whopping 49 points in a 49-38 victory. Cleveland had 38 points early in the third quarter and held a 38-14 lead. Last week, Dallas surrendered 34 points to a New York Giants team that hadn’t reached 10 points in each of their last two games.
Michael Irvin says the defense might have to go the Mike Tyson route
It was the game against the Cleveland Browns that set most Dallas Cowboys fans off. It was the one that seemingly got former Dallas wide receiver Michael Irvin all worked up. After the Browns rushed for better than 300 yards in a 49-38 victory, Irvin said it was time for the defense to start getting desperate.
“I understand in this NFL, you’re going to get beat,” Irvin said Sunday on NFL Game Day. “But there’s a difference between getting beat and getting broken. And they got broken. When you’re rushing for 300 yards, that’s broken. I don’t care what you do to stop somebody from continuing to run the football like that.”
Irving appeared to be angry with the Dallas defense. “I don’t care what you do. Mike Tyson bit an ear because he was getting broken. I want somebody to stop them from running the football like that. Do something. And then I saw a guy make a play when they were down 40-20 or something and he got up and made a gesture. I’m like, ‘Sit down. Sit down. Don’t do that now.’ They have issues and they have to address those issues.”
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.