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Defensive Trouble in Dallas

Oh, Jerry Jones, when will things go your way?

This past Sunday night, the Dallas Cowboys — 5-5 and tied for first in the NFC East — looked helpless as they saw Drew Brees and the high powered New Orleans Saints offense put up 625 yards and 40 first downs. Yes, that’s right, 40 first downs.

The Cowboys had a huge off-season in terms of making personnel changes. It all started when they fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan (who by the way is now the defensive coordinator for the Saints) and hired Monte Kiffin to take the helm as defensive coordinator. As the Cowboys looked to make gains this season on the defensive side of the ball, injuries began to set in and brought America’s team back to earth.

When you look at the Cowboys depth chart you instantly notice future Hall of Famer DeMarcus Ware at defensive end. Ware, in his ninth season with the Cowboys, has been plagued by injuries this year and appears to be working his way back to 100%.

The injuries didn’t stop at Ware. Not by a long shot.

The Cowboys are also missing a vital player on the D-line in defensive tackle Jason Hatcher. Hatcher, once considered a defensive player of the year candidate, has been out for more than month after suffering from a stinger.

Among other injuries include cornerback Morris Claiborne, linebacker Justin Durant, and safety J.J. Wilcox.

Then the biggest blow of the season came for the Cowboys. Linebacker Sean Lee, the heart and soul of the Cowboys defense, went down against the Saints with a hamstring injury and may likely be done for the season.

With a Dallas defense that has now allowed 400 yards passing in four games so far this season, teams have now been able to start running against the Cowboys as well. With six games left for the Cowboys, they face a tough road ahead. The Cowboys will close out their final six games against the Giants, Raiders, Bears, Packers, Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles.

All is not lost in Dallas. Tony Romo has started to look like the quarterback the Cowboys paid him to be. After a nice fourth quarter drive week 9 against the Vikings, Romo showed that he could lead a team when the game is on the line.

As the Cowboys look to heal up during a week 10 bye, I expect to see the Cowboys bounce back and potentially win 4 of their last 6 games. If the Cowboys are able to do that, I fully believe that the Cowboys can win the NFC East and make a run into the playoffs.