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Cowboys hope to go from 32nd to first in NFL defensive rankings

morrisclaiborne AP

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.

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95 Responses to “Cowboys hope to go from 32nd to first in NFL defensive rankings”
  1. thefootballgodssay says: Jul 27, 2014 2:26 PM

    GENO SMITH THINKS HE IS A TOP 5 QB AND NOW THIS I JUST SPIT UP MY BEER ON MY SCREEN

  2. bluenose1965 says: Jul 27, 2014 2:26 PM

    Oh you Dallas Cowboys, how you make us laugh.

  3. squashstroup says: Jul 27, 2014 2:26 PM

    good luck with that

  4. kylexitron says: Jul 27, 2014 2:27 PM

    I don’t see anyone on that team remotely as talented as the Seahawks second string defenders.

  5. tylerhutchison2005 says: Jul 27, 2014 2:29 PM

    Oh dear God.

  6. sportsfan18 says: Jul 27, 2014 2:30 PM

    And in 3, 2, 1 Jerrah releases a statement…

    Saying that the Cowboys have the best defense in the league because it was put together by the best G.M. in the league.

  7. baddegg says: Jul 27, 2014 2:30 PM

    What do you want him to say, “We’re going to suck and that’s what we aim to do.”

    Sometimes I can’t stand Internet Snarkiness.

  8. gpete1962 says: Jul 27, 2014 2:31 PM

    Dream on!!

  9. buffaloisadumpsterandtheirfansaremorons says: Jul 27, 2014 2:31 PM

    Sorry. But the best you can hope for is second, as the JETS will be number one EASILY.

  10. codythao35 says: Jul 27, 2014 2:32 PM

    Boycow’s dreaming is more likely, LOL!!!!!

  11. patsbrat says: Jul 27, 2014 2:32 PM

    Just click your heels together and repeat after me…there’s no place like home…there’s no place like home…

  12. eg2crx says: Jul 27, 2014 2:32 PM

    And I hope to marry Kate Upton but that’s not happening either…

  13. boisestatewhodat says: Jul 27, 2014 2:32 PM

    Blahahahahaha!

  14. swensose says: Jul 27, 2014 2:33 PM

    Role the Billy Madison scene please(modified):

    Claiborne what you just said is one of the the most insanely idiotic things I’ve ever read, at no point in your rambling incoherent response were you close to anything that would be considered a rational thought everyone in on this blog room is now dumber for having read it.

  15. zinger92 says: Jul 27, 2014 2:33 PM

    “you know the type of talent you have on the team, but it’s just not showing up.” I’m really tired of teams basing things off of potential. Either you do you job well, or you don’t. There is no “not showing up.”

  16. seahawksteven777 says: Jul 27, 2014 2:34 PM

    They should worry about trying to go better than 8-8, though for them that’s an equally difficult task as trying to have the number 1 defense.

  17. vancouversportsbro says: Jul 27, 2014 2:35 PM

    The Cowboys defense was awful last year. But then isn’t Sean Lee who was one of their only bright spots out with an ACL injury? Demarcus Ware also gone, again another one of their few bright spots. Only up from here I guess…but Jesus they were bad last year.

  18. cribbage12 says: Jul 27, 2014 2:43 PM

    Hope is not a strategy.

  19. belgaron says: Jul 27, 2014 2:44 PM

    …and that’s how the Piggly Wiggly bypassed Walmart to be the number one retail chain in America.

  20. eglsfan says: Jul 27, 2014 2:51 PM

    as an Eagles an I hate the cowboys but that Seahawks douche post really pisses me off….Come get a taste in the Linc on 12/7 diqheads

  21. jpiro says: Jul 27, 2014 2:51 PM

    How about just hoping to be mediocre first, umkay?

  22. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jul 27, 2014 2:53 PM

    Is it possible to fall to 33?

  23. buffalosaint says: Jul 27, 2014 2:54 PM

    Might get the same odds that McIlroy’s dad got.

  24. alshonbrandontandem says: Jul 27, 2014 2:54 PM

    “We were last in the league in defense and we’re trying to be No. 1,” – Morris Claiborne

    The guy who scored a 4 on the Wonderlic.
    A 4!!! You get 1 point for writing your name correctly.

  25. caeser12 says: Jul 27, 2014 2:54 PM

    No, what’s embarrassing is all the press a team that has 1 playoff win in 19 years still gets.

  26. luz56 says: Jul 27, 2014 2:54 PM

    Hahaha… Good gawd…

  27. broncosnative says: Jul 27, 2014 2:56 PM

    Ok somebody needs to be tested for substance abuse

  28. luz56 says: Jul 27, 2014 2:57 PM

    Damn there goes my fantasy football rankings… That inside info helped!!!

  29. lightcleric says: Jul 27, 2014 2:59 PM

    Well, they helped the Saints go from 32nd to 4th in one year by firing Rob Ryan…thanks Jerry!

  30. chitownbullet says: Jul 27, 2014 3:03 PM

    Claiborne must be sharing that rolled up bill with Johnny football!

  31. eaglesnoles05 says: Jul 27, 2014 3:14 PM

    As the ‘boys hope to go from 32 to 1 on D, I hope to find a suitcase of money in my yard.

  32. denverdude7 says: Jul 27, 2014 3:17 PM

    ROTFLMAO

  33. juvenile1 says: Jul 27, 2014 3:18 PM

    Oh u think ur defense gonna b better ha? U don’t know that your defense is actually gonna be worse ha?

  34. pacvino says: Jul 27, 2014 3:18 PM

    cowboys defense wants to go from last to first, geno smith wants to be a top 5 qb, dee milliner says he is the best cb in the nfl………..
    never have so many dumb ass’ spouted so much
    BS, ron white is right, you can’t fix stupid

  35. fumblenuts says: Jul 27, 2014 3:19 PM

    Let’s take a wait and see approach with QB “gazelle” KAP coming to town game one.

    If you can’t stop him from running wild it could a very looooooong season.

  36. wolff111 says: Jul 27, 2014 3:20 PM

    The Cowboys will be worse than last year. It’s possible!

  37. richndc says: Jul 27, 2014 3:24 PM

    Ladies, ladies. Food for thought. Dallas started 21 different players on the D-line. 21. Unprecedented. Injuries at mike linebacker had them starting a man who was on his couch in Oct. Add to that playing some shoot out games against NY Giants (478 total yards) and Denver (517 total yards). This is a team that lost 6 games by 3 points or less. The defense collapsed completely in the New Orleans game and also against Green Bay and Chicago–check for yourself why. They were not the worst defense in the NFL last year–total yards given up, yes, but there were 10 teams in the NFL who defenses no one who knows football would have taken over the Cowboys. Try learning more about football from places other than ESPN or NFL Network.

  38. couchbasher says: Jul 27, 2014 3:24 PM

    LOL

  39. thefiesty1 says: Jul 27, 2014 3:32 PM

    Ha, ha, ha, ha, Cowbabies! Ain’t gonna happen.

  40. thorp84 says: Jul 27, 2014 3:34 PM

    How many people on hear running their mouths have the talent that it would take to ride the bench in the NFL? C’MON anyone? As a player they should be shooting to be number 1. That’s why they play the game. If they’re just playing to finish in the middle of the pack, why are they playing at all? You should want guys on your team that want to be the best. Not guys that say “Well…… we were last last year. So this year we’re shooting for somewhere between 15-20.” Realistically, that might be what they’re shooting for. But no one wants to hear that. If Mo had said that, everyone on hear would’ve been running their mouths about it.

  41. ccc23454 says: Jul 27, 2014 3:35 PM

    I want to win lottery, since we are all dreaming!

  42. largent80100 says: Jul 27, 2014 3:42 PM

    Rolando McClain will be the Lolboys savior.

    If he doesn’t retire after week 3.

  43. wallypecans says: Jul 27, 2014 3:48 PM

    😂

  44. vincelombardisghost says: Jul 27, 2014 3:49 PM

    A four you say? A four. On the Wonderlic test. You can get a higher score by simply guessing. And if the Cowboys are “America’s Team,” which they aren’t anymore, this guy is “America’s Idiot.” Or, he purposely tanked on the test for reasons unknown. I’ll go with the “America’s Idiot” description. And if there’s a village that needs to replace their “Village Idiot” here’s their man. I wonder what the lowest score ever recorded by an NFL prospect is?

  45. MostlyRight says: Jul 27, 2014 3:50 PM

    Romo will break sack and fumble records this year! Oh wait he’s offense.

  46. tominma says: Jul 27, 2014 4:16 PM

    As long as Jerry Jones owns the team and he’s playing at being the GM too, The Cowboys wont come close to winning another Super Bowl!

  47. tokyofilthblaster says: Jul 27, 2014 4:18 PM

    The Viking defense is worse than the Cowboys.

  48. politicallyincorrect says: Jul 27, 2014 4:20 PM

    LOL

    Cowboys trying to rival the Jets for comedic effect

  49. rickeyp says: Jul 27, 2014 4:20 PM

    This place is becoming my go to place for humor!

    They must serve some special Kool Aid at the Cowboys’ and Jets’ training camps.

    Come on September!

  50. nosleeptilsb says: Jul 27, 2014 4:22 PM

    Mama always said, ‘ Life is like a box of chocolates’, and the D’boys’ defense is the piece that taste like bullnuts and mothballs.

  51. simonator917 says: Jul 27, 2014 4:33 PM

    Good luck with that.

  52. nflsucker says: Jul 27, 2014 4:42 PM

    I think you had a Freudian typo when you wrote, “the guys in the Cowboys’ defensive meetings have greed” (instead of “agreed).

    Pretty much supersedes any trash talk, in a factual sense.

  53. blackbeard43 says: Jul 27, 2014 4:48 PM

    Of course they do.

  54. babygaga19 says: Jul 27, 2014 4:51 PM

    Only in Jerry’s World!

  55. paulage77 says: Jul 27, 2014 4:54 PM

    The best thing about this post is the picture. It Daus so much.

  56. paulage77 says: Jul 27, 2014 4:55 PM

    The best thing about this post is the picture. It says so much.

  57. Ferdinand says: Jul 27, 2014 4:55 PM

    If the Browns are the ‘Factory of Sadness’, then the Cowboys are certainly the ‘Den of Delusion’.

  58. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jul 27, 2014 5:03 PM

    Calm down bored media, Mo only said that was the goal and it makes sense to shoot for the stars and perhaps hit the moon.

    I look for them to improve (no where to go but up) but let’s look for the defense to at least give them a better chance to win in 2014.

  59. jayovalentine says: Jul 27, 2014 5:04 PM

    Dallas wants to be #1 Defense ? People in hell also want cold water.

  60. gq214 says: Jul 27, 2014 5:05 PM

    Nobody expected the Seattle or KC defenses to have the great seasons they had last year. That’s why the games are played. Nobody knew who Richard Sherman was Now I don’t expect Dallas to have #1 def but they will improve. Had a lot of injuries last year.

  61. terremotinho says: Jul 27, 2014 5:10 PM

    Darn it, I was hoping Dallas would be on Green Bay’s schedule in 2014. The Packers could rest Rodgers and still rack up 500 yards and five TDs.

  62. bricktop02 says: Jul 27, 2014 5:20 PM

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  63. slick50ks says: Jul 27, 2014 5:20 PM

    It’s not too early to call Claiborne a bust.

  64. bodaciousmikie says: Jul 27, 2014 5:35 PM

    If they have close to a top 10 defense this team will have a playoff run.

  65. ilovefoolsball says: Jul 27, 2014 5:38 PM

    Good luck with that.

  66. fanofthegame1 says: Jul 27, 2014 5:50 PM

    Mikie, they don’t have a player that could be on a top 10 defense. Speaking of top 10 D, watch out for Brees and the saints, their D is legit.

  67. jmethane says: Jul 27, 2014 5:59 PM

    This guy yelling jets is crackin’me up.

  68. skinsfan91 says: Jul 27, 2014 6:12 PM

    “I love to hear your pissant soldiers talk tough. If Matrix were here, he’d laugh too.”

  69. gammynomnom says: Jul 27, 2014 6:22 PM

    yea I guess he should have said ” oh yea, we are shooting for dead last again this year”

  70. lionsandvikingsandbearsohmy says: Jul 27, 2014 6:22 PM

    as my mom used to say: wish in one hand and dookie in the other and see which one fills-up faster.

  71. footballfan72 says: Jul 27, 2014 6:25 PM

    The Eagles dream of winning a super bowl too, Cowboys have a more realistic chance than Philly of this happening….

  72. bullcharger says: Jul 27, 2014 6:30 PM

    Let’s go through the check list of things you need to have to be a #1 defense:

    proven coach: No
    proven players: No

    Therefore they won’t be the number 1 defense.

  73. bullcharger says: Jul 27, 2014 6:52 PM

    Ladies, ladies. Food for thought. Dallas started 21 different players on the D-line. 21. Unprecedented. Injuries at mike linebacker had them starting a man who was on his couch in Oct. Add to that playing some shoot out games against NY Giants (478 total yards) and Denver (517 total yards). This is a team that lost 6 games by 3 points or less. The defense collapsed completely in the New Orleans game and also against Green Bay and Chicago–check for yourself why. They were not the worst defense in the NFL last year–total yards given up, yes, but there were 10 teams in the NFL who defenses no one who knows football would have taken over the Cowboys. Try learning more about football from places other than ESPN or NFL Network.

    ——————

    So they lost 6 games by 3 points or less. That means they still lost those games. Losing close games doesn’t mean your defense is any better. They were the worst defense in terms of yards given up. That’s how defenses are ranked. When someone says they were ranked last, that’s what they mean. Of course Dallas were ranked 26th in scoring defense, which is also bad. So sure, there are a few defenses that are probably worse over all given scoring defense tends to mean more than yardage defense, but not many. They weren’t very good.

    Injuries happen to every team by the way. It’s not an excuse, it’s part of the game.

    Also, by posting here, you are conversing with people who obviously look at more than ESPN and the NFL Network given this site is neither.

  74. abninf says: Jul 27, 2014 6:59 PM

    Just another example of why I would never speak to the media if I were a player. Perhaps he should have said he hopes they’re the 25th best or something.

  75. flipt143 says: Jul 27, 2014 7:04 PM

    I don’t care who you are that’s funny right there.

  76. rajbais says: Jul 27, 2014 7:21 PM

    Actually, the Dallas Rodeo Clowns could respectively go from their believed win-loss record to their possible win-loss record: 16-0 to 1-15.

  77. urapoohc says: Jul 27, 2014 7:35 PM

    kylexitron,

    Seahawks fans make me roll. They cried in the 90’s because they couldn’t compete with the big boys. They wanted revenue sharing because again they couldn’t compete with the big boys. Same thing with the Patriots and now they are hot shots. You pay TEXAS A&M for the 12th man logo you steal every year. You create a stadium that pumps crowd noise back. Yet your the loudest fans in the NFL. Don’t worry, your days of being known for rain, coffee and suicides aren’t too far away.

  78. guachosporlife says: Jul 27, 2014 7:47 PM

    Maybe Romo can play defense?

  79. hawk3a1 says: Jul 27, 2014 7:48 PM

    You gotta love Dallas. Always good for a laugh!!!

  80. higheriqthanyou says: Jul 27, 2014 8:01 PM

    I guess my Hawks will have to settle for #2.

    Damn.

  81. thegonz13 says: Jul 27, 2014 8:25 PM

    Was Rex Ryan in town for one of his, you know… “pep talks”! ;-)

  82. allseeingone says: Jul 27, 2014 8:31 PM

    Right. And I plan to go from a Platinum internet sports blog trolling commentator to a Pulitzer winning author.

  83. mrlaloosh says: Jul 27, 2014 8:43 PM

    But, Monte Kiffin, the genius, was going to Tampa-2 the cowboys to the Super Bowl.. What happened to that?
    Claiborne’s number, 24, is 20 points higher than his Wonderlic score? So sad.

  84. starderup says: Jul 27, 2014 9:11 PM

    From last to first is good. The trick is, doing it. But if you set a goal, that’s a good one. Going to 0 or -1 is impossible, so go for 1, Jaarrry!

  85. ubepunkedagain says: Jul 27, 2014 9:39 PM

    I would like to say Dallas will surprise this year but the truth is Garrett isn’t the answer and I think it was a huge mistake not to move on from the whole Garrett experience. Until he is removed the Boys will be no better than 8-8 but I actually see the players giving up on him to solidify his exit.

  86. mdd913 says: Jul 27, 2014 10:06 PM

    Saints went from 32nd to 4th in one year when everybody said they had no talent. I am pretty sure the Cowboys don’t have the young talent at this point that the Saints had been stockpiling the last few years, but still…..you never really know.

  87. simonator917 says: Jul 27, 2014 10:33 PM

    The gift that keeps on giving.

  88. urapoohc says: Jul 27, 2014 10:42 PM

    mdd913,

    Hmm well let’s look at Rib’s oops Rob’s record. In 2006 he transformed the Raiders defense to 3rd rank. 2007, 22nd raked and 2008 they were 27th ranked. In 2011 he took Dallas defense to the 14th spot only to fall down to 19th in 2012. If he is so great why does his defense ranked lower the years after his arrival.

    What I remember about Ribs is the 2011 game against the Patriots that drove me mad. 3rd and forever and Ribs has 3 linemen rushing Brady. Guess what DeMarcus Ware was doing? Playing zone. Guess what Brady did? Convert for the first down and finish the drive to close out the game. 3 and out would have iced the game for us but Ribs rushed only 3 linemen against Brady. Let’s see what 2014 holds for RIBS.

  89. banlarson says: Jul 27, 2014 11:28 PM

    Ya, right. I think you need some talent to do that.

  90. chzamp says: Jul 28, 2014 2:11 AM

    I hope to win the lottery too. I’d say we both have about the same odds…

  91. johnycomments says: Jul 28, 2014 3:43 AM

    What The Hell. I want some of whatever is in their Gatorade.

  92. walkinginthewasteland says: Jul 28, 2014 8:34 AM

    Dallas Dumpster Fire 2014. 6-10 and a cleaning of the house.

  93. 88xfactor says: Jul 28, 2014 11:52 AM

    For all you knuckleheads out there who never think about what a player goes through in their personal lives. Go kiss a hot stove”.
    This guy will be a pro bowler this year. You can bet on that. I hope other teams try an pick on him. So all of you haters can choke on your words. Cowboys8-8nomore”

  94. mdd913 says: Jul 28, 2014 2:41 PM

    urapoohc says: Jul 27, 2014 10:42 PM

    mdd913,

    Hmm well let’s look at Rib’s oops Rob’s record. In 2006 he transformed the Raiders defense to 3rd rank. 2007, 22nd raked and 2008 they were 27th ranked. In 2011 he took Dallas defense to the 14th spot only to fall down to 19th in 2012. If he is so great why does his defense ranked lower the years after his arrival.

    What I remember about Ribs is the 2011 game against the Patriots that drove me mad. 3rd and forever and Ribs has 3 linemen rushing Brady. Guess what DeMarcus Ware was doing? Playing zone. Guess what Brady did? Convert for the first down and finish the drive to close out the game. 3 and out would have iced the game for us but Ribs rushed only 3 linemen against Brady. Let’s see what 2014 holds for RIBS.

    —————————————————————-

    Saints have a lot more talent and depth than any of Ryan’s past teams. I’m willing to bet they’ll be at least the same or better in terms of giving up yards, but improve on that with more turnovers.

  95. dreece13 says: Jul 30, 2014 12:53 PM

    Still going on and on about losing Ware and Hatcher… just shut up already, both of those guys are injured now and the Cowboys made the right decision.

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