'Soft Boys': Cowboys Defensive Is Predictable - Predictably Poor
ARLINGTON - The Dallas Cowboys brayed all offseason about how a coaching change would made the team's defense, in particular, unpredictable.
The braying hasn't worked. The changes haven't, either, expect in one regard: Dallas' defense - once self-nicknamed the "Hot Boys'' - is "unpredictable'' in the sense that no one predicted it would shatter records for ineptitude.
“Soft,'' said DeMarcus Lawrence in describing the Cowboys defense's work in Sunday's Week 4 49-38 home loss to Cleveland. “Soft. We have to hold ourselves to a higher standard. I call the shit 'soft.'
*Soft - Cleveland QB Baker Mayfield engineered an offense that put up 49 points, 31 by halftime - and remember, not in 50 years had the Browns scored 30 points in three straight games until now.
*Soft - Receiver Odell Beckham Jr. hadn't had a two-TD day in his Browns career. He had one here.
*Soft - Jarvis Landry is also a receiver. How many TD passes has he thrown in his career? In 100 career games, none, until Sunday with a 37-yard toss to Beckham Jr.
*Soft - Two-point conversions? Sure, why not, as the Browns added an inadvertent 2-point conversion after a Dallas blocked PAT was touched by the Cowboys and recovered in the end zone by Cleveland.
*Soft - The Browns ran for 307 yards and three touchdowns despite losing lead back Nick Chubb to a knee injury in the first quarter.
*Soft - Kareem Hunt, who has been battling a groin injury, had 71 yards and two touchdowns, and D’Ernest Johnson (who?) doubled his career yardage output of 26 yards in the first half alone, finishing with a team-high 95 yards.
*Soft - Beckham - a wide receiver, mind you - had 73 yards on two carries.
It's fun that Dallas QB Dak Prescott had his first 500-yard game, finishing with 502 yards passing, and became the first NFL player to throw for at least 450 yards in three consecutive games. It's fun that Dallas made it interesting at the end with an ill-fated rally.
It's not fun that this new coaching staff, with its "new ideas,'' has led Cowboys (1-3) to gigantic holes in three straight weeks' of games, having given up an incredible 126 points, that it couldn't figure out a way to block Cleveland's Myles Garrett and that asking its QB to throw a career-high 58 times in a game seems to be the only "go-to thing.''
"Tough talk'' during a summer of fantasy. "Soft'' talk during a fall of ... falling.