The Cowboys ranked dead last in the league in total defense last season, allowing more than 415 yards a game in a year when no other defense even allowed 400. This year, the loss of linebacker Sean Lee to a knee injury and the departure of top pass rushers DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher in free agency makes it seem unlikely that the Cowboys’ defense could get much better.
But that’s not the way the Cowboys see it. According to cornerback Morris Claiborne, the guys in the Cowboys’ defensive meetings have greed that they’re shooting to be not just better than last year, but the best defense in the NFL.
“We were last in the league in defense and we’re trying to be No. 1,” he said, via the Dallas Morning News. “That’s our goal. We’re not shying away from it.”
Claiborne says the Cowboys feel terrible about the way they played last year, but that doesn’t mean they have terrible talent on defense.
“It’s definitely embarrassing,” Claiborne said, “especially when you know the type of talent you have on the team, but it’s just not showing up.”
It’s not realistic to think the Cowboys could be the No. 1 defense in the league this year. If the Cowboys could even be average on defense, that would be an enormous improvement.