Skip to main content

How Can The Cowboys Improve Their Run Defense?


FRISCO, Texas – You can always count on DeMarcus Lawrence for a blunt assessment.

On Wednesday, he obliged once again when asked what's wrong with the Cowboys' defense.

"I would say team tackling – getting to the ball, wrapping up the ball carrier and bringing him down," he said. "That's what's been missing. Basic fundamentals."

It's not rocket science, as Lawrence himself told reporters inside the Cowboys' locker room. Against Green Bay last weekend, the Cowboys got hit for 4.1 yards per carry and four rushing touchdowns, due in large part to their inability to bring down Aaron Jones.

For all the focus on the "Hot Boyz" and the Cowboys' need for sacks, Lawrence said they can't make that happen until they improve at forcing the opposition to throw the ball.

"I think it starts with understanding our fits and making our hits," he said. "The main thing is stopping the run, and that's the main thing. You stop the run, then you earn the right to rush the passer."

As the $105 million man on this defense, a lot is expected of Lawrence in both departments. He has been active to this point in the season, but it's well-documented that it hasn't shown up on the stat sheet. A big part of that is the added attention the All-Pro is drawing.

On Sunday, Green Bay used tight ends and receivers to help Bryan Bulaga, and the result was Lawrence finishing with just one tackle and a sack in the game.

Regardless of how many players chip in on him, Lawrence said he can't let it dictate his effort level or his contributions.

"Yeah, I'd say it feels different. They can switch it up, bring slot protection over to me or put two extra tight ends in the game. But I feel like that defines who I am," he said. "I'm a threat to them, so they've got to use two of their players to put on me. But it's really all about getting better from it and learning where I can still make plays within two people being on me."