Cowboys run defense to be tested again

November, 26, 2013
11/26/13
9:00
AM ET
IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys have allowed more 400-yard passers in a season than any defense in NFL history with four.

But it's not like the run defense is much better. The Cowboys gave up 202 rushing yards in Sunday's 24-21 win against the New York Giants. If not for offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, the Giants might have had many more yards on the ground.

Luckily for the Cowboys, Gilbride wanted to throw the ball.

The Giants were the third team to eclipse 200 yards against the Cowboys, joining the Washington Redskins (216) and New Orleans Saints (242). Since Jerry Jones took over as owner and general manager in 1989, the Cowboys have allowed 200 yards in 21 games. Five came in 2000. Three came this year. Two came in 2008.

What was wrong Sunday?

"I think there were different things," coach Jason Garrett said. "We analyzed it fairly quickly but closely and there were different things that came up. It wasn't one guy. It wasn't one thing, ‘Hey we were in the C gap,' or ‘The safety didn't come down.' On different plays, on each of the longer runs they had it's one thing on this play, another thing on that play, another thing on that play. What we need to do is address those things with each of the individual guys. Sometimes it was physical. We got blocked. We weren't able to hold that B gap because that guy dug us out of that B gap, but other times it was how a corner might replace when a safety gets cracked or how a linebacker comes over the top or comes over the top too far. Some of those things came up in the game as well. We'll address those things quickly with our guys this week and hopefully we can get those things rectified by Thursday."

It needs to be because the Oakland Raiders are averaging 140.6 yards per game on the ground. Rashad Jennings leads the way with 553 yards rushing. The Cowboys might catch a break if quarterback Terrelle Pryor does not start.

"They want to run the ball," linebacker Ernie Sims said. "That's what they want to do."

The Cowboys know it, but can they stop it?

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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