The Dallas Cowboys’ defense has been one of the best units in the league throughout the season. They followed up a dominant performance against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 11 with another strong performance against the New York Giants on Thanksgiving Day.
Giving up 23 points combined against those teams in five days after giving up 60 combined to the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers in the two games before that is quite a bounceback for Dallas. With their offense having some up-and-down performances, the defense stepping up has been big.
Dan Quinn has done a magnificent job of getting the most out of this unit after a disastrous 2020 season. That was Mike McCarthy’s first as head coach of the team and they had one of the worst defenses in franchise history, surrendering yardage and points at an alarming rate.
That has not been the case with Quinn on the staff as his schemes have put players in advantageous spots and they are making the most of it. Having two bonafide stars in linebacker Micah Parsons and cornerback Trevon Diggs certainly helps as their presence makes everything easier for their teammates.
Where the Cowboys have excelled this season is getting after the quarterback, which Parsons and Diggs are having a direct impact on. Teams are directing a lot of attention at Parsons when he rushes the passer and his teammates are taking advantage of one-on-one opportunities. With Diggs and the secondary playing blanket coverage, quarterbacks don’t have a place to throw the ball and the sacks are being racked up.
Heading into Week 13, Dallas leads the NFL with 44 sacks. They are second in pressures with 237 and touchdowns allowed with only 18.
That pass rush is what makes the Cowboys a contender and a scary team down the stretch of the season. Parsons is currently second in the NFL himself with 12 sacks on the season to lead the Cowboys. Dorance Armstrong Jr. has 8.0, DeMarcus Lawrence has 6.0 and Dante Fowler Jr. has 5.0.
Once the offense gets into gear, which they have shown glimpses of doing, the Cowboys are going to be an even tougher team to beat.