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The Cavalry Is Coming For The Cowboys...But Will It Be Enough?

If Dallas is going to manage to hold down the fort until Tony Romo and Dez Bryant return, the defense is going to have to start stopping people. Help arrives next week, but you have to wonder if it is going to be enough.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The entire character of the Dallas Cowboys defense changed once linebacker Sean Lee left the game against the New Orleans Saints. Lee is currently leading the squad in tackles and in heart as well. Sidelined due to a concussion suffered in the second quarter, Rod Marinelli's defense lost all semblance of life in his absence. The game degenerated into something that seemed little more than trying to figure out how long it would take Drew Brees to put points on the board in the second half.

Reinforcements are arriving this week in the form of Rolando McClain, who did a successful job at filling in for Lee last season, and Greg Hardy. The presence of these two players is expected to provide some added "UMPH" to a Cowboys defense that is struggling. Yet to be answered is will the pair of veterans, both of whom are returning from suspension, be enough to give the Dallas defense the spark that is needed? Will the unit be able to hold off the opposition until the offensive leaders are able to report back to the field for duty with the extra help?

That question is going to be further compounded by Lee's medical situation. After being diagnosed with a concussion, the heart and soul of the Dallas defense will now have to clear the NFL's concussion protocol befor he is allowed to return to action. There is no certainty that this will happen prior to next weekend's contest with the New England Patriots.

Two of the next three games on the Cowboys slate are against championship caliber teams. With both the Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks looming, the time is now for the Dallas defense to dig deep and find a way to muster up what is needed to help a hog-tied offense out. Someone other than Sean Lee is going to have to start making plays. There seems to be little reason to question if Hardy and McClain will step up, based on what we saw before their suspensions took effect. The problem is that they are not going to be able to do it alone, or in conjunction with Lee if he is able to go. There are seven other players on the defensive side of the ball. Every man in the defensive meeting rooms is going to have to take a long hard look in the mirror, dig down deep, and will himself to play the best football he has ever played.

The aftermath of the loss to the Saints is that it has become gut-check time for the Dallas defense. During his tenure Jason Garrett has always preached the next man up mentality to his congregation. The time is now. Help is arriving, but nobody can wait for that help to do what needs to be done. Every man in the locker room needs to step up and say "I am going to make a play". If Dallas cannot do that, then it will be nearly impossible to stave off the resurgent New York Giants in the race for the NFC East crown.


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