It may have just been one preseason game but the Dallas Cowboys have 395 reasons to be concerned about their defense. First-year defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli has been tasked with trying to improve that unit, but after giving up 395 yards to the San Diego Chargers on Thursday they're still very much a work in progress.
“It's an everyday deal until we get it right,” is how Marinelli explained the situation to The Dallas Morning News.
In 2013 the Cowboys gave up a NFL worst 415 yards per game. Against San Diego they surrendered an average of 6.8 yards per play. Things were so bad the Chargers didn't throw their first incomplete pass until a minute into the fourth quarter. Granted, Dallas was without five starters but linebacker Justin Durant didn't use that as an excuse.
“We just gave up too much,” Durant said to dallasnews.com. “It's not what we wanted to see. They throw the ball. They did whatever they wanted to do. It's exactly not the identity that we want put out there.”
With DeMarcus Ware in Denver, Jason Hatcher in Washington and middle linebacker Sean Lee out with a season-ending knee injury, depth and experience are major issues.
Again, it's only the first preseason game but “Sometimes they did OK,” as coach Jason Garret told ESPNDallas, isn't exactly a ringing endorsement.
The Cowboys have a lot of work to do between now and their next preseason game on Aug. 16 against the Baltimore Ravens.