The Dallas Cowboys needed to do many things after how the team played last season. Chief among them was fixing a historically bad defense. Coaching was deemed to be a significant part of the problem. Hence, Mike Nolan was fired, and Dan Quinn was hired.
If you believe what you hear about the Dallas defense and the impact Dan Quinn has had on it, well —the Cowboys are going to be in great shape on that side of the ball this season, particularly in contrast to a unit that was so bad last season that it was historic.
It allowed nearly 30 points a game. The only reason the passing yards were not terrible (227.6 yards/game allowed; 11th) was that everyone was too busy running the ball (158.8 yards/game allowed; 31st).
The unit was nothing to get excited about last year. But if we listen to the hype surrounding it ahead of the 2021 regular season, it will be such a defense this season. It is not unreasonable to wonder why. It is not like the team added a lot of talent to the defensive side of the ball.
They added a few guys in the draft. But otherwise, the team did not bring in too many new guys, certainly no high-priced marquee talent. No, the excitement is all because of Quinn.
After expressing his appreciation for the new scheme, Demarcus Lawrence said about Quinn’s impact: “…Dan is bringing the swagger back. That’s what we need in this place: swagger, that pep in our step, and that swagger with our movement. So, I feel like Dan is doing a good job bringing that formula back.”
Lawrence is not the only player to rave about Quinn and the impact he is having so far. But the praise is not limited to just the players.
“I’ve never seen one side of the ball flip the way we’ve flipped it in one offseason,” head coach Mike McCarthy said following the team’s loss to the Houston Texans Saturday night. “I think that’s a real credit to what we were able to do in free agency and in the draft. I think it will definitely be evident when we get into the regular season.”
If fans are to believe what they are hearing, they should trust that the defense is just going to turn it on once the regular season gets underway.
Will it? Maybe; anything is possible. The new defense could very well be as good as they are saying. But, at the same time, all the talk could be just that — talk. Fans will have to wait until opening night to find out.