IRVING, Texas – St. Louis head coach Jeff Fisher isn’t underestimating a Cowboys defense that ranks 24th against the pass and 25th in total defense.
Fisher praised the Dallas defense and the way its created turnovers early on. Despite ranking toward the bottom of the league in total defense, the Cowboys have put pressure on the quarterback and amassed seven sacks through two games.
“We’ve got a tremendous challenge,” Fisher said. “Dallas is very, very talented on defense. They’ve got playmakers, so it’s going to be a huge challenge for us, probably the biggest thus far.”
That’s a lot of respect for the Cowboys, considering the Rams faced two tough defenses in Arizona and Atlanta through the first two weeks of the season. The Rams trailed early against the Falcons and quarterback Sam Bradford was forced to throw, which he did for 352 passing yards and three touchdowns in a loss last week. The Falcons also returned an interception for a touchdown against Bradford.
After watching the Cowboys on tape, Fisher knows he has to be prepared for a defense capable of turning turnovers into points.
“We’re going to have to have a great week of practice, put a great plan together and go out there and execute, because the Cowboys are very talented,” Fisher said. “Monte (Kiffin)’s a very, very experienced coach and he’s got them playing well and playing hard.”
The Rams’ defense is nothing to scoff at, either. St. Louis tied for the league lead in sacks last year and its front seven has helped the team keep the pass rush going this year with six sacks.
“We made a point this year to our guys that just because we led the league in sacks last year that there’s no guarantee it would happen again,” Fisher said. They worked very, very hard.”
Like the Cowboys, though, their pass defense has been outmatched by their run defense. St. Louis is 27th in the league against the pass and sixth against the run. They’ve been much better halting opposing running backs recently than they were the last time the two teams met, when
Fisher, who wasn’t the Rams’ head coach then, doesn’t look at that game from two years ago.
“We didn’t even bat an eye at it,” Fisher said. “It’s not relevant. There’s 15 players on this roster that were here in ’11. This is a new team, and we don’t deal in the past.”