Maybe next time, then.
I'd hoped - and assumed - that Robert Lester would get some time on
defense, if for no other reason than to put a bigger body that could
still run on TE Jimmy Graham.
Turns out he only played special teams, with his most prominent role
being the deep protector for PR Ted Ginn.
Lester had started the last few games but often subbed in and out with
Quentin Mikell since both have been healthy. I've seen Lester in the
box before, against other strong TEs. It seemed like a good matchup -
as good as Carolina could realistically provide.
Mikell is better in coverage, and underrated overall, but adding Lester
to the existing quartet doesn't hurt either. Throwing him in for a LB
isn't the worst in the world against a team that ended up throwing 40
times in a 20 point win. The Saints just don't run it a lot. It
appears that Chase Blackburn was minimally effective minus a play on a
pass he batted, and I'd argue that AJ Klein as well would've been a
Either way, it wasn't the team's biggest problem. They couldn't find a
person alive able to cover Marques Colston, who is at best their third
best outlet. Maybe they shifted too far toward Graham (not like that,
or anything else worked). I'm not blaming coaching specifically, it's a
complete failure by all involved.
It's not the Cowboys' defense. The team isn't imploding like the
Texans or Redskins. There's room to grow back into a top defense
immediately. There's no doubt how disappointing this game was, however.