Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin has taken a lot of heat for the way the Dallas defense is playing, but Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones says the people who should be taking heat are the players.
Jones, the son of owner and General Manager Jerry Jones, told ESPN.com that the players need to be held accountable.
“You turn on the tape and guys we count on week in and week out didn’t show up,” Jones said. “I don’t know what it was, but we didn’t get it done and I’ve got to believe we can do better than that.”
Jones called out several defensive players by name.
“They’ve all got to be better,” Jones said. “Sean Lee has got to be better. Brandon Carr has got to be better. Bruce Carter has got to be better. Jason Hatcher has got to be better. We’ve all got to be better. We’ve got to do a better job when we do have injuries of having better players to get up and be there. It’s an organizational thing. You just have to do better on the defensive side of the ball. If we want to get to where we want to get to we can’t play that type of defense.”
The Cowboys are giving up 426.8 yards a game, worst in the league and on pace to allow the second-most yards in a season in NFL history. Jones wasn’t expecting that.
“Obviously you expect better,” Jones said. “We have to be better. You can’t play defense like that and be last in the league and expect to ultimately get to where we want to get to. Ultimately it’s got to improve. We know there’s circumstances with injuries — no excuses — our defensive line is kind of where it starts. We’ve been beaten up there but that’s part of it and we’ll have to keep churning there. But I fully expect us to play better these last three games on the defensive side of the ball.”
If the Cowboys don’t play better, they’re going to be on the outside looking in when the playoffs begin.