The House that Hustle Built

When my physical therapist in Chicago and the cab stand in Miami start probing about the Cowboys quarterback controversy, I realize we’ve probably reached the saturation point of the conversation, especially since it remains a bit academic until Romo’s body is actually declared fit for football.

What about this defense though? Is it really true that they have been holding the opposing teams to an average of something like 17 points so far this year?  Without any discernable pass rush? That’s like finding out your buddy makes a lot of side money as an uber driver but he doesn’t have a car. “I just make do,” he says with a shrug. “I’ve got a lot of hustle.”

Part of that has to do with the takeaways they have been getting.  They’re just outside the top five in that department, but last year’s drought makes it feel like a deluge.  This season, for perhaps the first time in a lifetime of mindbullets directed at the television, my wistful plea for an interception was answered by Morris Claiborne on the same play.  I knew of course, that I had nothing to do with it, but my couch posture has a little more swagger these days.

This year’s squad might actually possess something like depth. One advantage of a no-name defense is that the eggs are pretty evenly distributed among baskets.

Honestly I probably should have appreciated the defense more last year, but it was just too hard to maintain any level of optimism. There was that time they limited Tampa Bay to three points for 59 out of 60 minutes and still managed to lose the game. That time was the day before my birthday.  But this bye week, I’m in a decidedly more charitable frame of mind.  Even the troubles of 2015 have assumed a rosier aspect.

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