The Dallas Cowboys’ defense has been one of the best defensive units in the entire NFL so far. Through the first 4 weeks of the season, the team has not yet allowed a single team to score 20 points or more against them and they are currently tied for the 2nd most sacks in the NFL with 15. While these metrics are impressive a deeper look at the numbers shows a glaring weakness that may derail the team down the line. Despite their stellar start the Cowboys defense has still not been able to stop the run. The Cowboys’ run defense currently ranks 27th in the league and are currently allowing a little over 137 rushing yards a game.
While the defense has been able to win games due to keeping opponents out of the end zone there will come a time where better competition can exploit their inability to neutralize the run game. In both of the Cowboys last two playoff loses they were bludgeoned on the ground and literally ran off of the field. In their matchup against the Rams during the 2018 playoffs the Cowboys surrendered 273 yards on the ground and lost the time of possession battle 36:13 to 23:47.
In last year’s debacle against the San Francisco 49ers the Cowboys surrendered 169 yards rushing and lost the time of possession battle 33:59 to 26:01.
The Cowboys biggest Achilles’ heel has consistently been the run game and it will continue to derail the Cowboys’ title hopes until it is addressed. The Cowboys are giving up 5 yards a carry and have also given up the most explosive run plays in the league as well as the highest explosive run percentage. If the Cowboys want to succeed in the playoffs they’ll have to find ways to become a complete defense.