Cowboys VP: Team’s top defenders ‘didn’t show up’
IRVING, Texas — Stephen Jones expected more from the Dallas Cowboys defense than what they showed during Monday night’s embarrassing 45-28 loss in Chicago.
The Cowboys executive vice president said Wednesday that what he saw against the Bears was “not acceptable.”
“At the end of the day, you turn on the tape and guys we count on week in and week out didn’t show up,” Jones said following an NFL owners meeting at the Four Seasons Resort and Club in Las Colinas. “I don’t know what it was, but we didn’t get it done and I’ve got to believe we can do better than that.”
Jones envisioned a better performance mostly because players like middle linebacker Sean Lee, defensive tackle Jason Hatcher and defensive end DeMarcus Ware were on the field together for the first time since Week 6.
Lee exited early with a neck injury. Ware and Hatcher played the entire game but struggled to get much pressure on Bears quarterback Josh McCown.
Jones said Ware, a seven-time Pro Bowler, has to play better.
“I think he’ll be the first to tell you that,” Jones said. “I mean, they all got to be better. Sean Lee’s got to be better. Brandon Carr’s got to be better. Bruce Carter’s got to be better. Jason Hatcher’s got to be better. We all got to get better.
“If we want to get to where we want to get to we can’t play that type of defense.”
Chicago totaled 490 yards of offense, 33 first downs and was never forced to punt, scoring on its first eight possessions.
The Cowboys are last in the league in defense, allowing 426.8 yards per game. If there’s no improvement over the final three games, Dallas has a chance to top last year’s New Orleans Saints record of allowing 440.1 yards per game.
“Obviously, you expect better,” Jones said. “You have to be better. You can’t play defense like that and be last in the league and expect to ultimately get to where we want to get to, so it’s got to improve.
“Now, there’s circumstances with injuries – no excuses – but our defensive line is kind of where it starts. We’ve been beat up there. That’s part of it and well have to keep churning there. But I fully expect us to play better these last three games on the defensive side of the ball.”