FRISCO, Texas – It's been a tale of two weeks for the Cowboys' defense.
Week 1 against the Giants: three points allowed, a franchise-low since 2013, in a decisive 16-point win.
Week 2 at Denver: 35 points allowed, discounting Aqib Talib's exclamation-point interception return for a touchdown, in the franchise's worst loss since 2013.
As the Cowboys prepare for the Cardinals in Week 3, defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli on Friday cited breakdowns in his group's fundamentals that led to the Broncos gaining 380 yards of total offense, including 180 rushing yards.
"We just didn't do our jobs," Marinelli said. "No excuses who's playing. We have to get that done right. The details, we hammer from OTAs on. The same theme, the same work at it. We did not get it done, coaches and players.
"So we go back, we look at it, you bring it to a man's attention and we make our corrections and now we re-coach it."
The Cowboys clearly were a sharper tackling team in the opener against the Giants. Why the issues in Denver? Marinelli pointed to edge containment in space that led to breakdowns in tackling and coverage.
"Once they break outside, our angles change now, and now they have cutbacks on us and stuff," he said. "But it wasn't good enough. Coaches or players, and we all know that.
"We believe in that consistency. Consistency is mental toughness, toughness of mind. People talk about what is toughness of mind? It's consistency every week wherever you play, hot, cold, it doesn't matter. We've got to be able to do that."
The Cowboys did get down to only two healthy corners against Denver once starter Nolan Carroll (concussion) and rookie Chidobe Awuzie (hamstring) left early due to injury. Neither have practiced this week, but starter Orlando Scandrick has returned from a hand fracture after sitting out Week 2.
"We didn't play with the edge that we should've, we didn't feel. Coaches, players are all in it," Marinelli said. "And of course he's a guy that does bring some edge, no question about it."