The Norman Transcript

National Sports

December 11, 2013

Jerry Jones eyes more tricks after firing gimmicky Ryan

(Continued)

IRVING, Texas —

In a twisted way, Dallas is used to bouncing back from horrid defensive games.

The Cowboys beat Washington after giving up 517 yards in a 51-48 loss to Peyton Manning and Denver, rallied past Minnesota after Detroit put up 623 yards. They produced a clutch winning drive at the New York Giants after having their bye week to ponder Drew Brees and the Saints going for 625 yards.

Now Dallas has a short week to get ready for the Packers, who could have Aaron Rodgers back. He has missed six games with a left collarbone injury.

“We’ve had a couple of these games this year,” coach Jason Garrett said on his radio show Tuesday. “Whether it’s what we’re doing with our scheme, our personnel, what we’re asking guys to do, we’ve just got to make sure we get that done and we’ve got to get that done quickly.”

Healthy or not, the Cowboys couldn’t stop the Bears. Chicago scored touchdowns on its first two drives with Sean Lee back at middle linebacker after missing two games with a hamstring issue. He went out later with a neck injury and his status is uncertain for the Packers game.

Health hasn’t always been a gauge for the Cowboys.

Dallas won both games without Lee and shut down one of the league’s best running games in a victory over Oakland. Philadelphia’s only game without a touchdown was a 17-3 loss to the Cowboys when Dallas was missing defensive end DeMarcus Ware.

So the Dallas defense is hard to figure, but there is one brutal bottom line. With three games left, the Cowboys are just 138 yards shy of the team record of 5,549 yards allowed last season.

“The system’s there,” Lee said. “It has everything to do with just executing properly. Gave up way too many big plays. Didn’t get off the field on third down. Basic stuff. Didn’t do it.”

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