The last thing the Dallas Cowboys defense needed on Sunday night against the New Orleans Saints was an injury to Sean Lee. On top of being one of the best coverage linebackers in the league, he leads his position at run stops with 36. An early hamstring injury put Lee out for the game and the Cowboys, who are now last in the league in total yards allowed, definitely felt his absence.
Even by NFC East standards, Dallas has a terrible defense. When you’re looking up at the New York Giants, Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles in total defense, there is no other word for that but pathetic. The Cowboys won the turnover battle and recovered an onside kick against the Saints, but those minor victories were trumped by New Orleans’ 625 total yards and 49 points. After Sunday’s loss, the Cowboys have now surrendered 439.8 yards per game to opposing offenses.
Their performance on third down was certainly no help as it was pitiful on both sides of the ball. They didn’t convert a single third down on offense, going 0-for-9, while allowing the Saints to convert 9-of-12 on the day. Thankfully for Dallas, they’re in arguably the worst division in the NFL and are currently tied for first place with their 5-5 record.
It looks like mediocre football will be enough to win the NFC East this season, and the Cowboys are going to have to play much better than they did on Sunday night if they want to take advantage.