Thursday, December 12, 2013
Barry Church: Defense should study more
By Tim MacMahon
IRVING, Texas -- Much of the external blame for the Dallas Cowboys' dreadful defense is being directed at coordinator Monte Kiffin, but the players aren't pointing fingers.
As awful as the Dallas defense was while letting the Chicago Bears score on every drive until a kneel-down in the final seconds, there were several instances in which the scheme worked perfectly and the players failed.
Cornerback Orlando Scandrick dropped an interception in the end zone early in the third quarter. Linebacker Bruce Carter dropped a pick the next series.
"We have to figure out a way to make more plays and execute," Scandrick said. "As a defense, as a team and as individuals, we all have to look at ourselves in the mirror and think what we can do to better help this team."
The X's and O's obviously haven't worked well enough for a defense that ranks last in the league by a long shot. Same goes for personnel. But the players are focused on the parts of the problem that they can control.
Defensive end DeMarcus Ware stressed the importance of playing sound fundamentally. Safety Barry Church is challenging his teammates to watch more film.
"I think as a whole unit, we need to study more on our opponents," Church said. "Not even just the concepts, but just read what our one-on-ones are, what the receivers like to do, what the quarterbacks like to do, who he likes to throw it to on third down. We've just got to win situational football, and hopefully we can do it this week."
There is also the challenge of trying to remain confident when the results have been so disastrous.
"We have two choices," Scandrick said. "You fold it in and get ready for the offseason or you try and forget the last one and move forward."
Church admitted to a violation of the 24-hour rule, saying the blowout loss to the Bears was still on his mind during Wednesday's practice.
It'd be one thing if that outing was out of character, but it's the fifth time the Cowboys have allowed at least 490 yards and 30 points in a loss this season.
"It's tough," Church said. "We've given up a lot of yards, not only against the run but also against the pass. The whole defense, we've just got to look at ourselves in the mirror and say, 'We've got to get the job done.' Hopefully, we can get it done. That's all I can really say."