Ndamukong Suh Wasn’t Pursued by Cowboys Before Eagles Contract, Jerry Jones Says - Erin Walsh, Bleacher Report
Not only did the Eagles sign one free-agent defensive tackle, but they also had to go in a sign a name many Cowboys fans were unhappy to see sign with their rival. The owner of Dallas doesn’t feel the same way.
The Dallas Cowboys did not express interest in signing veteran defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh before he agreed to a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday.
“No, we didn’t have contact,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, per The Athletic’s Jon Machota. “I like where we are with our big boys in the middle.”
The Cowboys’ interior defensive line is anchored by Osa Odighizuwa, Johnathan Hankins, who was acquired at the trade deadline from the Las Vegas Raiders, Neville Gallimore and Carlos Watkins. Still, they could have used someone like Suh to help shore up the unit.
While the Cowboys have the NFL’s third-best pass defense, allowing just 181.7 passing yards per game, their defense against the run has been putrid as they’re allowing 143.1 yards per game on the ground, which is the fourth-worst mark in the league.
The Cowboys run defense has been under fire this week after allowing the Packers to come back into Sunday’s game and win leaning on their rushing attack. Well, the defense has taken ownership of their mistakes, specifically their star player on that side of the ball.
It only takes one bad experience for someone to promise themselves they’ll never feel that way again or endure that experience again. However, what tends to separate your everyday person from professional athletes is the sheer will to stick to that promise.
After listening to Micah Parsons on Thursday, there is no disputing what side of that fence he is entrenched on when it comes to the Cowboys’ recent struggles in the run defense.
“I’m looking at this Vikings’ week,” Parsons said. “The Packers’ [game] we learned and we grew. It won’t happen again though. If Dak [Prescott] goes out there and gives me that lead again, I promise we ain’t going to do that again.
“I promise to God I give everything I got every week. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be on the field as much as I am.”
After the Packers’ game on Sunday, Parsons stressed the importance of communication and accountability for the Cowboys’ defense and their allowing of over 200 rushing yards and a blown 14-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Just a few days later the Cowboys’ All-Pro linebacker echoed those same sentiments if they want to correct their run-stopping woes before taking on the offensive prowess of the Vikings this Sunday.
“We have to trust each other,” he said. “Trust is going to be the key to everything and where we want to go. “We have to trust that someone’s going to be in the B-gap when they’re supposed to be in the B-gap. We have to trust that someone is going to come in the A-gap when they’re supposed to be in the A-gap and hold the edge.
Each week, fans expect that the standout on special teams will be KaVontae Turpin. While he usually shares that honor with either Brett Maher or Bryan Anger, another name got the spotlight against the Packers.
Linebacker and special teams guru Luke Gifford is fighting to make that change.
Heading into Week 10, the 27-year-old only had one special teams tackle for Dallas. But, in an otherwise frustrating game on Sunday, Gifford was a surprising highlight of the game on special teams. In one game alone, the fourth-year Cowboy had five tackles and a fumble recovery.
What’s even more impressive is that he did that in just 26 snaps. Safety Jayron Kearse also had five tackles but had 57 snaps to get it done.
The performance was so impressive that even longtime special teams coach John “Bones” Fassel claimed it was unlike anything he’d ever seen in his 17 years as an NFL coach — and he’s coached many Pro Bowlers and All-Pros.
“Like nothing I’ve seen before. Five legitimate tackles in one game, on special teams. I haven’t ever been a part of a game where one guy had that many tackles. And he had a fumble recovery, too. He was very productive; he actually missed one [tackle] on a punt at the end of the game. It could have been six.”
Gifford hasn’t gotten much of an opportunity to be a linebacker on defense with Dan Quinn’s group. The third-string LB has played with the defense in only seven games in his Cowboys career, collecting double-digit snaps only once.
However, he has been a consistent and solid performer on special teams. The Nebraska product has been in over half of special teams snaps in 33 of his 38 games as a Cowboy.
Some predictions for the upcoming game.
Patrik Walker: This one is far from rocket science. Fact is, until further notice, teams will continue to dare the Cowboys to stop the run and, if they can not, use it to own time of possession while also setting up play-action for chunk plays. Enter the Vikings, a team with a dynamic one-two punch in the backfield and much more firepower in the air than what the Cowboys faced in the Packers. The name of the game is to, guess what? Stop the run. Stop the run and then stop it again. Force Kirk Cousins to be a hero and you’ll get takeaways and the victory, and my gut tells me the Cowboys defense is fed up with having gone from hero to villain in 2022 - fueling a statement win for Dallas. 28-10, Cowboys
Nick Eatman: They say football is a game of inches, and so many times, even this year, that proves to be correct. And with that, predictions can come down to inches as well. Had the Bills been able to get the ball off the 1-yard line in Buffalo and actually beat the Vikings, I might have a different viewpoint. Had the Cowboys been able to stop the Packers on numerous fourth-quarter plays, they would’ve won the game. And this pick would’ve been different. But I feel like the Cowboys will be hungry for the win and the Vikings are just asking to get beat. I’m thinking it happens this week in a high-scoring affair. I think Zeke plays but Pollard gets a third straight 100-yard game and we see a big name from Noah Brown. Give me the Cowboys 31-30.
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