Shutdown Corner

Jerry Jones says Cowboys should ‘take more risks’ on defense

Eric Edholm
Shutdown Corner

CHICAGO — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said after his team's 45-28 loss to the Chicago Bears in which they allowed 490 yards and eight scores on their first eight possessions that his defense needs to take more risks.

“We’ll have to make some adjustments with what we’re doing defensively,” Jones said in the Cowboys' locker room. “What that usually means is taking more risks on defense. If you’re going to have the type of nights we had like [Monday], and certainly down in New Orleans, then you got to take some risks.

"We’ve just got to double up, and I’m sure that will be a part of the plan on defense is more risks. We’ve got to play the balls. We got to go after the ball more.”

Asked if that includes suggesting schematic changes to what coordinator Monte Kiffin is calling Jones said no, but then offered a rambling, confusing assessment of what it takes to be a more successful defense.

“We can do some things different out there," Jones said "It’s not as safe, but it could be more effective; it could maybe get us a turnover when it might have made a difference and changed the tide out there.

“I’ll assure you that we’ll be doing some different things up against Green Bay. There will be a little different cast of players out here against Green Bay, but [the Bears] use their assets very effectively, those big receivers. The quarterback put it on them, and we just couldn’t defend it.”

The Cowboys were unable to hem in on Bears quarterback Josh McCown, who tore them up for four passing touchdowns and another one running, despite subzero windchill temperatures, which seemed to hurt the visitors and have no negative effect on the Bears.

There were missed tackles, bad angles to the ball, costly penalties, two dropped interceptions and a host of poor coverages on Monday. The Cowboys have yet to shut down a quality offense this season, but Monday's problems might represent the low point for Kiffin's group.

“At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what quarterback it is if you’re not playing fundamentally sound and not in the right place at the right time and also, in the key situations, when it’s third down, you don’t get off the field,” Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware said.

Added linebacker Sean Lee, who was leveled by a Brandon Marshall block and later on the same drive couldn't stop McCown from running into the end zone: "It was horrible. We lost the game. We played terrible. We got dominated. We've got to figure out something if we want to get into the playoffs. We've got to play a lot better, starting with myself."

At least credit the Cowboys for this: To a man, they took blame for the loss. Ware said he's not getting it done. Lee, too. Others as well.

So if Jones is right and the Cowboys "take more risks," could it result in more big plays? By saying that Jones, essentially is admitting the Cowboys can't truly stop anyone. But maybe they can steal a possession or two, or flip the field.

Defensive tackle admitted he thought the Bears "schemed" the Cowboys well. Does that mean that Kiffin's system is too basic, too vanilla, with too little pressure? Head coach Jason Garrett wasn't tipping his hand there.

“We have to go back to work and fix it,” Garrett said. “We have to play better. We have responded well on a couple of occasions this year. We have to do that again. We have to play better run defense. We have to minimize plays in the passing game. We have to do a better job affecting the passer. We have to do a better job on the back end.”

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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