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Monday, October 15, 2012
Rob Ryan: Defense is better than pretty good

By Calvin Watkins

BALTIMORE -- In Sunday's loss to the Baltimore Ravens, the Cowboys defense allowed 316 total yards, 6.4 yards per play, four pass plays of 20 or more yards and made one sack.

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The Cowboys didn't force any turnovers. Cornerback Mike Jenkins almost had one in the first half, but it was just a pass breakup.

It seems the defense played pretty well.

"We're better than pretty good," defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said. "It's too many points (31), we've given up too many points the last two games (65) and that’s not the way. We're way better than that and we have to execute every play. We got to call a smarter game on defense to give us a chance to execute and then we have to step up and be great."

The Cowboys got a boost from the return of nose tackle Jay Ratliff and defensive end Kenyon Coleman, who had both been injured. But the team lost backup defensive end Sean Lissemore to a high-ankle sprain and his long-term status is unknown. As a comparison, Ratliff missed six weeks with a high-ankle sprain.

"Just gonna keep working our ass off until we keep winning," Ryan said.

What bothered Ryan the most was the last scoring drive of the Ravens in the fourth quarter.

The Ravens used a no-huddle offense for the bulk of drive as they tried to protect a 24-23 lead. Joe Flacco completed deep passes of 13 and 31 yards to Anquan Boldin. The 13-yarder was a diving catch by Boldin and on the other, Brandon Carr fell down after jamming Boldin at the line of scrimmage. Vonta Leach picked up seven yards on a catch in the flat and jumped over Morris Claiborne for a big play on the drive.

A second-and-goal play from the 1 had DeMarcus Ware put pressure on Flacco, forcing an incompletion. But on the next play, Ray Rice scored from the 1 pushing the Ravens lead to 31-23.

"We had our moments," Ryan said. "We just didn't execute on that last drive, it's disappointing."