Dallas Cowboys Defense

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Defensive Line Is Most Important To Cowboys Prospective Future

Cory Mageors
May 28, 2019 - 1:29 pm

Dallas Cowboys defensive backs coach Kris Richard has been lauded by coaches, Cowboys front office and fans even more.

His passion and active, “in-your-face” approach is both classic yet modern in this neck of the NFL world.

Maybe more importantly though, is that he proved adaptable to the talent the Cowboys already had and that he can learn from past mistakes.

The Cowboys blitzed more when Richard was calling defensive plays than when defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli had the sheet. But one of the Marinelli classics is to create chaos up front in getting through the offensive line and pressuring the pass, while also maintaining a solid run defense.

The Cowboys had the option to go secondary in the draft this year, but Richard wanted to make sure they beefed up the defensive front and approved of the pick of Trysten Hill to provide a big defensive presence in the middle.

The Cowboys were able to hold the Seahawks under 100-yards rushing from running backs in the first playoff game, but then got blistered time after time by the Rams.

I documented a number of those here after the game.

Richard told reporters recently, "big men force the offense to throw the football. If they're just going to come out and run the ball consistently down your throat, you'll never see a pass. They're just going to hand it off.”

And that’s what happened in the playoffs. Both the Seahawks and Rams believed that the best way to beat the Cowboys was not to try and attack the secondary, but to attack the run game.

The Cowboys had just the right formula against Seattle, but not LA and the Dallas offense was unable to capitalize early enough to keep the team in it with the lack of run stopping.

Names like Demarcus Lawrence, Robert Quinn, Tyrone Crawford and now Trysten Hill are all part of Richard’s mindset that winning up front and forcing teams to throw will play better into the Cowboys hands in the future, where obvious passing downs will lead to turnovers, and obvious run downs will lead to a loss yards.

A lot of people respect Richard’s football passion, but his ability to see where the Cowboys failed most and shoot for a fix without overcorrecting is something that will potentially payoff huge for this team.​