see that when he's breaking on passes in coverage. That is huge, almost like having a sixth new starter after he played just 10 games last year, and several of those far less than 100 percent, yet still leading the team with four interceptions.
This defense definitely has more speed than last year's, which always helps.
The biggest question mark will be depth, and see, here we go again. Other than Jason Hatcher and Stephen Bowen at defensive end, along with whoever doesn't start at right cornerback and Alan Ball, there isn't much - at least not proven, and that includes Bobby Carpenter, who appears to be adapting nicely to the nickel inside backer spot vacated by Kevin Burnett signing with San Diego.
Worries you, doesn't it?
But then what NFL team does have loads of depth? I see where Philadelphia, after losing starting middle linebacker Stewart Bradley to a torn ACL in training camp, first replaced him with Joe Mays. But the other day the Eagles moved Omar Gaither to starting middle backer, and this after he missed the Eagles' two previous preseason games with a sprained knee. Go figure.
You just have to realize a salary cap and free agency insures a lack of depth for nearly every NFL team. That's just life in the league nowadays.
"Basically those guys have played the way we liked them to play," Phillips said of the defense, then went on to say of his first team's play Saturday night, "Sure we'd have liked to shut them out."
Of course, that would have been perfect. But even at that, the Cowboys first defense only gave up a field goal on the final drive of the first half.
Even if they didn't have a takeaway.