Cowboys believe defense is better
Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said the defense is good, adding that a full offseason during which he can go back to basics should curtail communication problems.
His players agreed.
"The mistakes we did make are on tape now and we can correct now," outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware said.
The Cowboys' defense finished 14th overall and 23rd against the pass in 2011.
Upgrading the talent -- signing Brandon Carr, Brodney Pool and Dan Connor in free agency, and drafting cornerback Morris Claiborne -- should help.
The Cowboys also drafted two pass-rushers -- DE Tyrone Crawford in the third round and OLB Kyle Wilber in the fourth.
"I like it. Anybody who can come in and help us right away, I'm pleased with it," defensive end Jason Hatcher said. "We've got a lot of work to do. Claiborne has got to come in and prove himself, (and) when he proves himself (and) we jell as a defense, we'll be ready to go."
Of course, nobody really knows how the talent upgrades will work because everyone across the league signs and drafts players with the hope of getting better.
The secondary, once a weakness for the Cowboys, appears to be a strength for the 2012 season. The projected starters are Brandon Carr and Claiborne with former Pro Bowler Mike Jenkins and slot corner Orlando Scandrick coming in on passing downs.
With NFL teams using more three- and four-receiver sets, the need for extra cornerbacks is important, which is something the Cowboys have stressed this offseason. It's part of their reason for keeping Jenkins around.
Jerry Jones wants Jenkins long term, but it seems the corner is concerned about his role.
If Jenkins remains with the Cowboys in 2012 -- and there's no reason to believe he won't -- the secondary will have some solid players covering opposing receivers.
"I think it's a good group of guys," Carr said. "There's going to be some competition this year, and competition makes everybody elevate their game. That’s all you can ask for as a player and as a teammate, just guys being accountable and getting that next person to that next level."
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Todd Archer joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest Tony Romo news and what he will be watching for in OTAs.
Play Podcast Nate Newton joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss his comments on how Jason Garrett should handle being on the hot seat and not let Jerry Jones get in the way.
Play Podcast Cowboys safety Barry Church joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the new defensive scheme and the impact it will have on him, how much more intense he expects practice to be with Monte Kiffin and his expectations.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider Ed Werder joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest Cowboys news, including Jason Garrett downplaying Tony Romo's involvement in offensive planning and play calling.
Play Podcast John Lynch joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss playing for Monte Kiffin and Rod Marinelli, why Cowboys fans should be excited about the new defensive staff, why Valley Ranch will no longer resemble a country club and his thoughts on the Cowboys' roster.
Play Podcast Herm Edwards joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest Cowboys news and give his take on what new face will make the biggest impact for Dallas.
Play Podcast Nate Newton joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what he saw at the Cowboys' rookie minicamp and how he helped Rod Marinelli on the defensive side of the ball.
Play Podcast Todd Archer joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what he took away from the Dallas Cowboys' rookie minicamp.