Keith Brooking captured the essence of the struggling Dallas Cowboys offense on Monday. When asked the simple question of what is wrong with the defense, Brooking was so thorough that it took him 407 words to answer the question.
And so he confirmed what he and everyone else knows.
What's wrong with the defense?
“It’s a lack of execution,” Brooking said. “Everyone’s searching for answers. What is going on? It’s very simple. This game is very simple. It’s not complex. As players, we are not going out there and executing the play that’s called. Bottom line. That’s it.
"Wherever he’s has been, he’s been successful. I’ve had a lot of success under Wade Phillips as a defensive coordinator with different personnel, different players, different teams obviously. You think overnight his defense is not going to hold up and be successful?
"No, it’s on us to go out there and execute and make plays. There is a lack of execution on our part, and it’s a different guy on every play. I take the responsibility for that, because I’m a leader on this team. I’m a captain for the defense, and it’s unacceptable. It hurts like hell. The only thing I know to do is keep fighting, keep pressing.
"Why are we not executing? I guess that would be the next question. It’s not for a lack of effort. I just watched every play. I watched every play three or four times. There’s a tremendous amount of effort there. Guys are giving it up.
"But there are some plays that it seems like guys are trying too hard. Like in our run fits, teams aren’t gashing us for four or five yards a pop. There’s three or four runs that total 70 yards, then the rest of them they’re averaging less than one or two yards a carry. They’re not bam, just gashing us for four or five and man, we can’t stop this. But the runs they’re gashing us on for 15, 20, 30 yards, guys are beating their guy, but they’re just trying to do too much.
"A few times, you get out of your gap because you kind of feel like the game isn’t going the way that you want it to and you press. A good back like [Maurice] Jones-Drew is going to expose you. You get out of your gap and you’re trying to make the play, and all of the sudden he cuts back and it’s a 20-yard gain. It’s things like that that are taking place as far as a lack of execution.
"We’ve just got to have faith in one another, know that everybody’s going to do their job and just take care of your responsibility defensively. Everyone execute their responsibility and this defense will hold up.”
-- Jan Hubbard