In the cowboys game, the Rams defense was destroyed by Romo and co. In the first quarter alone, they got two touchdowns! Thats pretty bad,but if that wasn't enough, it was on two big pass plays, both of them Janoris Jenkins had a part in. You could almost here people calling JJ a bust/ preseason star. That all this preseason was over-hyped etc. Well,I am going to tell you that they are right, yes JJ was over-hyped. But not how you think. Here are some reasons not to worry about the defense
1) Till now our defense was pretty plain vanilla. Against the cowboys it was a more complex one, where the players had to constantly change positions. Our safetys were playing up more, leaving our corners to take the deep zone. Till now JJ was mostly in man coverage, where he excels, against the cowboys, he looked confused, not taking up his position in time. I think the coaching staff were handling JJ like he was a veteran, and while he has the skill, he doesn't have the experience,and in that cowboys stadium, with the loud fans and big Jumbo Board, his mind wasn't all there. He did start picking it up though later, and the second big pass play was mostly Dahl's fault, where he moved much too slowly. I still believe that if JJ continues to grow and learn, he could be a serious contender for ROY.
2) Besides the coverage problems(the aforementioned complex game plan could be the reason) the pass rush wasn't their. Or atleast didn't seem to. The reason was partially how Romo made small, meaningful steps to avoid pressure. Chris Long really wasn't playing. Leaving Quinn to get the edge rush. The problem with Quinn? He is too fast and too good at getting past a guy. Sometimes, he is beating his guy, but then Romo just stepped up in the pocket, leaving Quinn to run around. Tyron Smith did well to block Quinn like that, but really Quinn should be beating him, and not run straight pass the QB. However the real reason is on some of these plays, the lack of push by the DTs, leaving Romo plenty of place to step up in the pocket. Once Long gets going,and our linebackers settle, I see this D-line really getting to the QB.
3) Yes, our linebackers were pretty bad. They were missing tackles left and right. There is no way to explain that, they just need to work on that. In coverage however, we saw some crazy things, like JL covering a wr deep. That has much to do with play calling, and maybe fisher seeing how our LBs can cover, if for some reason they need to cover deep.
All in all, I think most of our defensive problems, was running a different scheme, a more zonal one, where there is more holes, rather then the man-to-man defense were better suited for. Remember, we were running the playbook of a guy some where in the jungle, causing there to be a hiccup or two. Once JL and Long get going,I think we can do very well. Also most of the big plays were passes covered by Dahl. Once Stewart comes back, that should get better, much better.