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December 15, 2013

Cowboys defense has already set franchise mark for futility

The Dallas Cowboys have never seen a defense play this poorly. It's been a season-long trend and will only get worse the final two games.

That's because the defense has already allowed the most total yards (5,982) in team history, as well as the most passing yards (4,163). There still are two games remaining.

It doesn't seem to matter whether it's Peyton Manning or a career backup such as Matt Flynn. The Cowboys' defense is a unit that brings out the best in opposing quarterbacks.

For a half, though, it seemed like the defense had the right game plan against Flynn. He wasn't doing much against them, as the Cowboys built a 26-3 halftime lead.

That unraveled quickly in the second half. Flynn threw four second-half TDs to lead the Packers' remarkable comeback for a 37-36 victory.

"Well, we fixed it. We fixed it in the first half," defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin said. "We just need it for the second half, dang it.

"It's not good. It's not good at all. There are no excuses. We should have won the game. No doubt about it."

Flynn completed 16-of-22 passes for 182 yards in the second half, while running back Eddie Lacy rushed for 110 yards on 13 carries in the final half.

Plenty of blame could be passed around but two veterans were pointed out by owner Jerry Jones and Kiffin afterward. DeMarcus Ware only recorded an assisted tackle and quarterback hurry, while Jason Hatcher didn't even show up on the final stat sheet.

"We need those guys, but I'd have to look at the tape and see if they didn't step up," Kiffin said. "I wouldn't go there at all personally until I see the tape."

Either way, the defense continues to struggle. But they all hope to turn it around and salvage the season somewhat the final two weeks. 

“If you don’t know what the bottom of the pile feels like, you don’t know how to crawl up out of there," Ware said. “At the end of the day, I’ve been at the bottom of the pile and there’s no reason to give up. We don’t give up here.”

-- Drew Davison

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