- Todd Archer, ESPN Staff Writer
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IRVING, Texas – Last week the Cowboys’ defense had no answer for New Orleans, giving up 34 points, 562 yards and 33 first downs.
Coordinator Rob Ryan knows everything must be better Sunday at Washington.
“We’ve been competitive,” Ryan said. “Maybe we’re not going to be great, but we need to be better than we’ve been. Need to keep the points down, and that’s how you win, you know, as a team. Our strength is definitely offense right now, but we don’t want to be a second-class citizen. We played that way last week, and it showed against a great offense and a talented quarterback in Drew Brees. We need to bounce back, have a great game here and be a part of this.”
The problem for Ryan is that the Cowboys did not have many answers for the Redskins on Thanksgiving. Robert Griffin III threw four touchdown passes and Alfred Morris had 113 rushing yards in a 38-31 win at Cowboys Stadium.
“Shoot, it’s a challenge,” Ryan said. “They’re the second-highest scoring offense in football, in the NFC. I think they’re fourth in the league in offense. So they got weapons everywhere. They look like they’re at full strength. It’s obviously a huge challenge for us. They slaughtered us on Thanksgiving, ruined all our plans. But that’s the way it is. That’s who you expect to play for an NFC East championship, a team like that.”
The Cowboys sacked Griffin four times, something only Cincinnati did more this season.
“I think we had a pretty good rush on this guy the last game,” Ryan said. “We forced him to throw the ball quick sometimes. We sacked him four times, so I was happy with the pass rush we got on him last time. Did he beat some blown coverages? Yeah, he did. What we need to do is be better in our coverage, be more sound in what we do and execute. To me I liked our plan last time I just don’t think we executed all that well, especially in short yardage, especially in double coverage when a guy ran by us for about a hundred-yard touchdown.”