Cowboys defense not pleased with showing

ST. LOUIS -- Maybe it’s a sign of maturity, as Jason Garrett suggested after the Dallas Cowboys' 34-31 victory against the St. Louis Rams, but the defenders were not pleased with their effort Sunday.

Yes, Bruce Carter had an interception return for a touchdown. Yes, Morris Claiborne sealed the victory with an interception. Sure, Anthony Hitchens had a big fourth-down stop, and Henry Melton had a key fumble recovery.


“I’m glad we won obviously, but we’ve just got to improve,” defensive tackle Nick Hayden said. “I feel, as a person, like we lost. We lost that game. I’m not satisfied with what we did out there. I’m not too happy. I’m glad we snuck by with a W, but we’ve just got to be better.”

Hayden said the Cowboys were “undisciplined,” on defense and the communication was “terrible.” The Cowboys did not sack Austin Davis, and saw the Rams backup completed 30 of 42 passes for 327 yards and three touchdowns. Zac Stacy led St. Louis with 67 yards on 12 carries with the Rams finishing with 121 yards on 30 carries.

The Rams converted on eight of their 12 third-down chances and one fourth-down try.

St. Louis held the ball for 32 minutes, 50 seconds and gained 448 yards.

It didn’t matter that the Cowboys were without Justin Durant and Rolando McClain, their top two tacklers.

“I’ve told you guys all the time and I’ll tell you guys for real: we’ve got to play better,” cornerback Orlando Scandrick said. “We can’t expect to give up 350, 400 yards and be a great defense or be a good defense or even be a good football team. Thirty-four points from your offense, that’s not normal in this league.”

The defensive players know coordinator Rod Marinelli will not be pleased after viewing the film. Marinelli was even-keeled when talking about the defense after the game. He was pleased with the win, but not pleased with the execution.

“I’m looking for that consistency,” Marinelli said. “The consistency to play the run, the consistency of a pass rush. We want these plays we made today, because they win. But to be a really good defense, to help this offense -- this offense can go -- we’ve got to three-and-outs. We just have to play better.”

Up next is the New Orleans Saints with an offense that is by far better than anything the Cowboys have faced this season and chewed them up last year.