The Dallas Cowboys' Defense Is Rolling Since the Wade Phillips Coup D'état

Chad HensleyCorrespondent IDecember 15, 2008

The Dallas Cowboys took over the game on their first play against the N.Y. Giants—and they never let up.

On that play, DeMarcus Ware got his first of three sacks on the night and set the tone.

The defense ended up sacking Eli Manning eight times, holding the first place Giants' offense to six points on 218 total yards and forcing two turnovers.

Since Head Coach Wade Phillips has taken on a larger role in the defensive game planning, the defense has played lights out, giving up an average of 14.8 points per game to opposing offenses. (Note: I don't count safeties and turnovers for touchdowns.)

If you take out the games in which Tony Romo didn't play, Dallas has given up 12 points per game since the Phillips coup d’état.

Now, let's compare those numbers to what Dallas was doing before Wade took over.

 Pts. AllowedSacksFum. Rec.Int.
First 7 Games24.11962
Last 7 Games14.83367

For those of you who are mathematically challenged, that is 9.3 less points per game, almost double the sacks and triple the interceptions.

Quite a difference the goofy fella makes, eh?

What has Wade changed?  

The main thing that I have noticed is the intensity and aggressive schemes. 

The cornerbacks are playing up on the line-of-scrimmage when the down and distance is short. Before Wade took over, they would play 10 yards off and basically give the first down away.

The run defense has also seen a major change. Guys are flying to the ball and getting penetration. This has resulted in reducing the opponent's third down conversion from 39 percent to 31 percent. 

Now I don't believe that the Cowboys defense is on par with the Steelers or Ravens.  This is simply because they haven't found a way to turn the turnovers into defensive points. 

But they are getting there, and that makes the Dallas Cowboys team very dangerous when you throw in the potent offense.

They can thank Wade for that.