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Cowboys' defensive direction must change

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Recent posts by Eric Edholm

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Posted Dec. 19, 2010 @ 1:45 a.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

Lost amid the mostly positive vibes of Jason Garrett's tenure as head coach is the fact that a defense that once was thought to be on the verge of awesomeness is now on pace to allow a team record for most points in a season. Through 13 games, that number is 366, and the Cowboys' 16-game worst mark is the 405 they allowed in 2004. Seven teams have scored 30 points or more against them this season, and there have been a number of reasons why. The run defense, once a hallmark of this emerging group, has broken down. So, too, has the pass coverage, which has allowed some good receivers to go completely nuclear against them. If Garrett retains his position as coach, the choice of defensive direction will be a key story line in the offseason. Does coordinator Paul Pasqualoni retain that position, or would Jerry Jones be compelled to make a big splash there, having kept his head coach static? It's also very likely, of course, that several players on "D" will be benched or replaced in the offseason.

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