The Dallas Cowboys underachieved in 2019. It’s as simple as that.
The team missed out on the playoffs and finished with an average defense. After the season ended, the Cowboys finished with the 10th ranked passing defense, 11th ranked rushing defense, and 11th ranked scoring defense.
The Cowboys made some acquisitions in the offseason and the team heads into the 2020 year with the potential of having a dangerous front seven.
Four-time Pro Bowl defensive end Everson Griffen was a nice addition. Former All-Pro pass rusher Aldon Smith looks to take the field for the first time in years. Nose tackle Dontari Poe signed a two-year contract. Losing Gerald McCoy and Robert Quinn were hits, but Leighton Vander Esch is healthy and Randy Gregory was recently reinstated.
Those two are like picking up two quality free agents. As always, DeMarcus Lawrence leads the charge and will be a main fixture on the team, while Jaylon Smith is breaking into a star.
All in all, there’s plenty to be excited about this defensive scheme. One NFL insider confirmed what the Cowboys will do.
“#Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy says they will have a 4-3 defense with some 3-4 principles like the designated pass rusher concept,” according to NFL insider Jane Slater.
Nolan takes Rod Marinelli’s place and brings 17 years of experience to Dallas. He also served four years as a head coach in San Francisco.
In terms of what will be different, Nolan has traditionally run a 3-4 defense, which would be a different look than the 4-3 defense Dallas has run since 2013.
Regardless, Nolan has used a variety of defenses, including hybrid formats. He has run successful 3-4 defenses with the Giants, Redskins, and Jets. Nolan coached the likes of Terrell Suggs, who became a fearsome pass rusher.