Defense Must Tighten Up In Giant Rematch
IRVING, Texas - Not only the biggest game of this season, Sunday's matchup with the Giants is undoubtedly the most important contest of Rob Ryan's eight years as an NFL defensive coordinator.
It's the only game in which his team has had an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth. In seven years running defenses with the Raiders and Browns, his club never finished above 5-11. Already the Cowboys have surpassed that, but to have a winning season and extended life in the playoffs, it may take the game plan of Ryan's life.
Unable to begin installing his defense until training camp began in late July, conventional wisdom said Ryan's unit may struggle early, then improve as the year went along, as players gained a better understanding of his complex schemes.
That hasn't exactly been the case. In fact, it's seemed the more film that is available of Ryan's Cowboys, the more teams are able to exploit many of the same weaknesses the unit had in 2010. A defense built on disguising pressure and coverage in an effort to make things difficult for quarterbacks, this Ryan defense is not unlike the one orchestrated by Rex Ryan of the New York Jets...
There's no right way to do the wrong thing.
To compete for the playoffs, Dallas has to improve here: Only four sacks against Eli Manning over the past six games!