The Dallas defence in recent years has not had an intimidation factor - no-one was afraid of it. The personality of the team to some degree being set by its star, Mr Nice Guy himself, Demarcus Ware.
This issue reached its peak in week 2 against the contrast of a physically intimidating performance by the Seahawks Defence. JJT posted an article that the Cowboys D lacked the intimidation factor. While Mr Taylor is one the mediots I generally try to avoid, he had a valid point in this case.
However, there was an interesting quote in that article, where Garrett talks about wanting to create a physical football team. Thinking back to his first 8 games as a HC he clearly created a different physical attitude, perhaps more particularly with the O-Line, but since then has been limited by a lock-out and then an EBA that has really limited coach's ability to drive a physical practice.
"You want to be a physical football team, then you need to sign and draft physical players. Then try to create situations in practice to continue to foster that physical mentality."
But has the season has progressed there have been increasing signs that physicality is emerging. I recall watching Mr. Nice Guy himself drive Eli's head into the turf on his 100th sack in week 1.
I reflect on big hits from Lee and more recently some really nice ones from Carter with a few sprinkled in from guys like Sensabaugh. Immediately following Seattle, I hear some praise for the physicality of the Defence against a Tampa team with a really old-school coach. I hear the Raven's Coach talk about being "in a physical fist fight, from beginning to the end.". Matt Ryan talk about playing against a really physical defence.
Then came the Philadelphia game - and the intimidation factor was there for all to see. After being dropped on his head, Jeremy Maclin completely short-armed a very catchable ball due to the approaching Sensabaugh - who whacked him anyway! Jimmy the beast has a nice little write-up with pictures... And they topped it with a game-sealing high-low sack of the rookie QB - who I thought they were going to rip in half despite him being 6-6 and 250 pounds.
I am liking what I am seeing - Garrett and Ryan are instilling a physical attitude in the Defence. Now they just need to keep it going.