Stephen Jones just hoping for a healthier Cowboys defense

AP

Cowboys V.P. Stephen Jones is hoping not so much for a better defense in Big D this year than for a healthier defense.

Jones acknowledged that the talent doesn’t look better on paper than it did a year ago. But Jones says that the problem a year ago was that Anthony Spencer and Jay Ratliff missed the whole season with injuries, while DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher suffered injuries as well. This year, Jones wants to see a healthy defense.

“When we were sitting here last year we thought we were better because we thought Ware was going to be Ware and Hatch was going to be Hatch and Spence was going to be Spence and Rat was going to be Rat,” Jones said, via the Star-Telegram. “And those were pretty damn good football players before the injuries hit. This time last year, we loved our front because I thought everyone was going to be healthy and back and they didn’t.”

The key, Jones says, is new defensive tackles Henry Melton and Terrell McClain and defensive end Jeremy Mincey being healthy for 16 games.

“If we play better on defense, then we should be a better team,” Jones said. “Maybe Mincey and Melton and McClain and whoever we draft end up being healthier than those guys, so we end up being better.”

The Cowboys’ defense, which gave up a league-high 415 yards a game and 24 first downs a game, could hardly be worse.