Last season it was painful for Dallas Cowboy fans to watch the second half of ” way too many” games.
After watching the replay of the 1993 Super Bowl on the NFL Network between the Cowboys and the Buffalo Bills, I realized that this team, who won Super Bowl XXVII with the youngest team in the NFL, did not have a big name secondary, the exception being Darren Woodson.
What this team did have was a “great” head coach in Jimmy Johnson and a defensive line that was a “well oiled unit.” Charles Haley, Jim Jeffcoat, Tony Casillas, Russell Maryland, Chad Hennings, Leon Lett and Jimmie Jones made up this group. This group was extremely motivated and came to play for sixty minutes on game day.
That season the Cowboys won and they won big. There was not a Deion Sanders protecting the back end.
There was Ken Norton Jr. leading the linebackers. However, the heart of this defensive unit was the defensive line.
The defensive line was well coached and assembled with great care. Charles Haley only had four sacks that season, but he was a constant pressure on opposing quarterbacks and a good player against the run. This was perhaps the best rotational defensive line the Cowboys have ever had.
This season, Rod Marinelli will get his chance to see if he can assemble a defense that will be, at least, respectable.
With the defense coming off the worst performance in team history, including the 1-15 team of 1989, changes were in order. Dallas chose to make Marinelli the defensive coordinator and parted ways with fan favorite DeMarcus Ware and tackle Jason Hatcher.
As fans, we should realize it is NOT the safeties entire fault that last years team lost so many games in the second half. The defensive line applied little pressure and they could not stop the run up front.
The Dallas Cowboys need a good draft to bring in a few new faces on the defensive line. The big question remains, can Rod Marinelli assemble, coach up a new group of guys and make them “gel” as a unit, or will Jerry Jones’ hand be forced into firing another defensive coordinator before or at the end of next season?