Dallas Cowboys

Defense bends but doesn’t break, allowing 390 yards but only 17 points

Cowboys defensive end Tyrone Crawford (98) recovers a fumble by Bears receiver Cameron Meredith (81).
Cowboys defensive end Tyrone Crawford (98) recovers a fumble by Bears receiver Cameron Meredith (81). rrodriguez@star-telegram.com

The stats don’t look good.

The Cowboys defense allowed 390 yards, and they didn’t get a sack. But the stats were somewhat deceiving.

The Cowboys allowed only 17 points, and they recovered two fumbles.

“I thought they played really well tonight,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. “I think that you are going to see some guys that aren’t household names. They will start making a name for themselves. That will be helped along by how well we do defensively. But I think I certainly saw at least three very young defensive players that made a big contribution tonight, and that’s what we need. It is supposed to work like that if you have done well with your personnel.”

Safeties Byron Jones and J.J. Wilcox forced fumbles. Defensive linemen Tyrone Crawford and Benson Mayowa recovered fumbles. Safety Barry Church had nine tackles, and cornerback Morris Claiborne added six.

“We put it on our shoulders to go out and get stops,” Claiborne said. “Obviously, we gave up what we gave up, but we didn’t break. We gave up some big plays, but at some crucial times, we got off the field. We got turnovers.”

Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli is critical, though, and he wasn’t happy with the lack of sacks against a team that had allowed the most sacks through two games. (Though it should be noted that the Bears played with Brian Hoyer instead of Jay Cutler.)

The Cowboys have only four sacks this season, putting them on pace for 21, after getting only 31 last season and 28 in 2014.

“The pressure wasn’t good enough up front,” Marinelli said. “A game like that you’ve got to create some pressure.

“A couple turnovers, that’s good, but just not good enough.”