Cowboys’ secondary appears to steer ‘switch of mentality on defense’

By David Helman
FOX Sports activities Dallas Cowboys Author

OXNARD, Calif. — With all due respect to lots of former Cowboys defensive backs, one thing feels completely different in 2022. 

It used to really feel like a ceremony of summer time to come back out to the West Coast and watch this workforce’s receivers placed on a present. From Dez Bryant and Miles Austin to Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb, it was frequent as just lately as final 12 months to look at a Dallas wideout take over coaching camp.

For the report, Lamb is taking part in simply superb in his third NFL coaching camp. However this time round it feels extra like a good combat, as a result of, for all of the criticism the Cowboys’ secondary has taken over the previous decade or so, this one has opened camp at about as excessive a stage as potential. 

“I feel like the defense is finally catching up, and we finally can match the offense with flash plays and points and everything,” stated Anthony Brown. 

Brown was the right man to ask in regards to the secondary. Draw up an inventory of Cowboys gamers having fun with the most effective first week of camp, and the seventh-year nook had higher be on it. He pick-sixed Dak Prescott on the primary day of apply, and he has managed to take care of that stage or efficiency for the previous week. On Thursday, he confirmed his restoration means by regaining a misplaced step on KaVontae Turpin and breaking apart a would-be landing. 

It has been noticeable sufficient that Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy took the time to say that Brown — typically the topic of criticism from followers and media alike — typically goes underappreciated.

“I think he’s someone that should get more love from you guys. Just a suggestion,” McCarthy stated. “I think he’s done a lot of good things. But more importantly, he’s very, very consistent. What I love about AB is he’s the same guy every day.”

However it is not simply Brown. Clearly, Trevon Diggs deserves point out, as he seeks to construct on his first-team All-Professional choice in 2021. However even after an 11-interception season, there’s loads of debate about the place Diggs components on the pecking order of NFL cowl guys.  

Going again to the purpose about Brown, Diggs stated the Cowboys’ secondary feels forgotten. Possibly everyone seems to be simply holding their breath, ready to see if a protection that led the league with 34 takeaways — together with 17 interceptions by its cornerbacks — can do it once more. 

“All of us, we’ve done things, we just haven’t gotten the respect that we needed yet,” Diggs stated. “That’s nobody’s fault. We just got to go out there and show what we can do.” 

The enjoyable factor is that there should not be a lot of a studying curve. Dan Quinn is again for an additional journey as defensive coordinator, that means the scheme stays principally the identical.  

Quinn reportedly provided to go away Cowboys

Quinn reportedly offered to leave Cowboys

Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn informed USA In the present day that he provided to go away Dallas if it could make issues “easier” for head coach Mike McCarthy. Colin Cowherd weighs in on whether or not Quinn ought to have stayed or left.

Extra necessary than that, the secondary itself is generally the identical. All three major cornerbacks are beneath contract no less than for this season, and the entrance workplace retained firebrand security Jayron Kearse on a two-year deal. 

Damontae Kazee is gone from final 12 months’s workforce, however even that loss is mitigated by the choice to re-sign Malik Hooker, who performed 446 snaps as Quinn’s third security.  

“Just to come back, I thought it was unfinished business, and obviously the guys we had that I knew was coming back, too,” Hooker stated.

All of it combines to create one of many deepest, most veteran secondaries this franchise has had in fairly a while. Even the again finish of the depth chart appears promising, with a pair of extremely drafted corners ready within the wings and fourth-year security Donovan Wilson rounding out the again finish. 

They will be examined rapidly. Inside the first 5 weeks of the season, this group faces three of the NFL’s most explosive passing assaults: Tampa Bay, Cincinnati and the L.A. Rams. It figures to be fairly a step as much as go from defending the Cowboys’ depleted receiver corps to the likes of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson II. 

Not surprisingly, the Cowboys’ DBs say they’re as much as the problem. The unusual factor is that, in 2022, it feels simpler to imagine them. 

“I feel like when Jerry and those guys drafted us, it felt like they wanted to have a switch of mentality on defense,” stated sixth-year nook Jourdan Lewis. “We had a few changes that led to this point, but ultimately we’re getting to where we want to be on defense.” 

David Helman covers the Dallas Cowboys for FOX Sports activities, offering perception and evaluation on the NFL’s most seen franchise. Previous to becoming a member of FOX, David spent 9 seasons protecting the Cowboys for the workforce’s official web site, In 2018, he gained a regional Emmy for his position in producing “Dak Prescott: A Family Reunion” in regards to the quarterback’s time at Mississippi State.

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