Horrible… That is the only way to describe a Cowboys defense that was truly lucky not to give up more than 21 points on Sunday. This may not be the type of thing you would expect to hear after a 34-21 win, but the fact is that it needs to be said.
The Cowboys defense STRUGGLED in the running game, giving up 174 yards on the ground, mainly due to their inability to tackle. With the exception of Terrance Newman, who had a team high 9 tackles, not one player showed that they knew how to tackle properly. This kind of performance will absolutely result in a loss to a team as polished as the New York Giants who come to Arlington in just one week.
Beyond the running game, the defense looked fairly decent against the pass with the exception of cornerback Mike Jenkins. Multiple times in the game Jenkins could be found playing with poor technique, and commonly making bad decisions in coverage. This is certainly not the kind of play you would expect to see from a player taking time away from a solid corner like Orlando Scandrick, and must be addressed this week in practice.
All in all every win counts, however if the Cowboys want to win against good teams, then they cannot play defense like they did today. Team tackling should be a focal point in practice, and Orlando Scandrick should get all of the first team reps based on what I saw against the Bucs. If the Cowboys want to have any hopes of winning next week against the Giants, these problems absolutely must be addressed and resolved.