Dallas Cowboys defense bets on ‘sophomore jump’

COOL — mike mccarthy said “jump second” so many times in 2021, it could have turned into a drinking game, especially with the way the league’s leader in interceptions played. NFL, Trevon Diggsduring its second season.

There’s a different kind of “jumping sophomore” that kids think about. Dallas Cowboys for 2022, and that has to do with what can be achieved in the second year of the defense of dan quinn.

To facilitate that “sophomore leap,” cowboys they wanted to retain as many players from their 2021 defensive unit as possible, for the sake of continuity. The biggest loss was the defensive end randy gregorywho changed his mind after reaching an agreement with the cowboysopting to sign a similar four-year agreement with the Denver Broncos which guaranteed him 28 million dollars. It is likely that Dallas don’t hold the linebacker Kean Nealwho participated in 580 snaps, nor the cornerback Maurice Canadybut there is still a possibility that the defensive end will return Brent Urban.

The rest of the key defenders are back, though, starting with defensive end DeMarcus Lawrencewho restructured his contract to guarantee him $30 million over the next two seasons.

“No. 1, [retener a] D Law It was huge,” he said. McCarty on call with local reporters attending homeowners meetings earlier in the week. “Getting it back was huge. There’s no question about it. So I slept better that night when it was resolved.”

The cowboys they also retained the safety Jayron Kearse, the team’s leading tackler; On the defensive Dorance Armstrongwho had one less sack (5.0) than gregory Last season; linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, who showed his best level at the end of the campaign; defensive tackle Charles Watkins, who started 14 games; and safety Malik Hookera favorite of the owner and general manager, Jerry Jones.

“I feel like we can build on the foundation we left last year,” he explained. Lawrence.

The only defensive outside hire so far has been defensive end Dante Fowler Jr..whose personal best in sacks of 11.5 came with Los Angeles Rams in 2019. Quinn headed to Fowler in 2012 at the collegiate level with the Florida Gatorsand then briefly with the Atlanta Falcons in 2020, so the Cowboys are hoping a reunion will boost his sack numbers, even though he’s only posted 7.5 over the past two years in Atlanta.

“Defense definitely gives you that opportunity in playoff games to regulate and keep the game in reach to win,” he said. McCarty at the beginning of the week. “A great defense wins you games. I know I’m an offensive-cutting coach, but frankly, defense is so important. There’s no question about it.

“I think our goal, we reached it last year by taking a huge step forward defensively. I think by signing these veterans back, we now have an experienced defense along with these guys who are going to be in the second year. So, I expect that jump in the second year from the young guys, the experienced guys, and I think we can take another step defensively.”

As defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks in 2013 and ’14, Quinn he led the No. 1 unit in points allowed and yards allowed per game. In 2014, his second campaign there, The work of Seattle in third opportunity and red zone was not as good as in the previous year. The turnovers fell from the first year (37) to the second (20), and the sacks decreased from 44 to 37. But, the Seahawks they arrived anyway superbowl.

In 2016, his second year as head coach of the falcons, the points and yards allowed went from 21.6 and 347.6 per game, to 25.6 and 371.2. Third-down defense was mostly flat (42.9 percent to 41.8 percent), but takeaways were down (27 to 20) and red zone defense was down as well (62.3 percent to 72.7 percent). Sacks went from 19 to 34.

Most importantly, however, the falcons reached the superbowl in its second season.

After a disastrous 2020 season, the Los Angeles defense cowboys he had a big comeback in 2021. He allowed 21.1 points per game (ranked seventh) and led the league with 34 steals. diggs he had 11 interceptions and returned two for touchdowns. The cowboys they scored five defensive touchdowns. the linebacker Micah Parsons was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Yearfinishing with a franchise rookie mark of 13 sacks.

“The way that [Quinn] He motivates us as a defensive line to take over games, the amount of trust and faith he has in us to be ourselves, that’s what I love about him.” armstrong. “It encourages everyone and helps everyone play a little better.”

The cowboys they think that Parson’s he can have a “jump sophomore” in 2022 after an incredible rookie campaign.

The front office and coaches believe the second-round pick Kevin Joseph, he can become a defensive regular. The third round recruits Osa Odighizuwa, Chauncey Golston and Nahshon Wright They had their moments. The fourth round recruit Jabril Cox returns from an anterior cruciate ligament tear, but is expected to take on the role of Neal. Then there are the selections that will be made during the draft of the NFL in April to shore up the unit, and McCarty he suggested post-draft free agency work.

“I feel like we’ve got a lot of great guys who are great players, they listen well, they respect the game, and we’ve got some good veterans who know how to play and respect the game, and they want to get better and better as well.” Lawrence.

“Just getting out there, creating that bond in the locker room, understanding each other’s strengths and weaknesses, being able to grow with each other, that’s going to take us to the next level.”

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Dallas Cowboys defense bets on ‘sophomore jump’