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Mailbag: Teams Know How to Beat Cowboys?


Does every team in the NFL now know how to beat the Cowboys? Run the ball, which isn't difficult against us, and mix in play-action later. Tell me again how elite this defense is? – Bryce Utz / Moline, IL

Patrik: Kinda hard to see a game like the one from Week 10 and still want to use the word "elite" but, truth is, you can if you apply it the right way. It's as you said: play action. I contend that the Cowboys not only have the best pass rush in the league, but also one of the best secondaries (also becauseof the pass rush), but if you keep allowing teams to establish the run it'll cost you on the back end – seeing as you have to start selling out to stop the run and then come play-action passes that go flying over your head to speedsters like Christian Watson. And so it goes, for me, that the pass rush is elite and so is the secondary, but until the LB corps gets better at sealing the edges against the run it'll continue to be a defense that wildly effective in one area and wildly ineffective in the other, and the latter could continually undermine the former.

Nick:Ok, this is a 6-3 football team. Clearly, not everyone knows how to beat the Cowboys. They've lost to Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Jalen Hurts, who before Monday, was one of the favorites for the NFL MVP. Yes, the QB matters, even for the running game because that's the player the Cowboys are focused on. Not every team has the ability to play the same style. So yeah, you can say "run the ball" but we all know that's not going to work consistently. The Cowboys will make a better effort to stop the run, even if that means less pass-rush. I think the Cowboys will make some adjustments on their end. Let's let that happen before we wonder if everyone knows how to beat them. Knowing it and getting it done are two different things.

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