Cowboys’ defense statistically worse than last season, with Manning up next

Posted Sunday, Sep. 29, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The bad news is the Dallas Cowboys gave up 506 yards Sunday, including 401 passing to Philip Rivers. The worse news is Peyton Manning comes to town next.

Manning threw for 327 yards and four touchdowns in the Denver Broncos’ victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

“That’s not good,” Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin said. “Last time I checked, the quarterback ratings came out this week [and] No. 1 was Manning. Guess who No. 2 was? Rivers. We told our team that. We knew this was going to be a tough game. No doubt about it. He’s a heck of a quarterback. He’s playing better right now than back when he played three or four years ago. He can still play, and we told our defense that.

“...We knew it was going to be a tough game, but we expected to win. We really did. No excuses. We should have won the football game. We should have got our offense the ball more. That’s our fault. Put that on our defense.”

The Cowboys gave up the most yards in team history last season, which is why Kiffin is here and Rob Ryan is in New Orleans. But, through four games, the Cowboys have allowed 419 more yards than they had at this point last season.

It has the Cowboys on pace to shatter the team record of last season, and Manning, Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford, Aaron Rodgers, Robert Griffin III and the Eagles still are on the schedule.

“We’ve got to bounce back, man,” Cowboys defensive tackle Jason Hatcher said. “We’ve got hands down the best quarterback in the league coming in here [in Manning next week]. This guy right here, he’s a scientist out there. We’ve got to shake this one off quick. If not, we’re going to go out there and get embarrassed.”

Sunday was embarrassing enough.

Only once last season did the Cowboys allow more yards than they did Sunday, in overtime against the Saints on Dec. 23 when Brees threw for 446 of the Saints’ 562 total yards.

“Those days, I wish they were behind us,” Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr said. “You sure would hope so. That’s why you put in all the work.”

The Cowboys had six takeaways in the season opener against the Giants, including one on special teams. They have only two in the three games since, including a pick-six by Sean Lee on Sunday.

“We’ve got to find a way to get off the field and get the ball back to the offense,” Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware said.

Charean Williams 817-390-7760 Twitter: @NFLCharean

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