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Stephen Jones calls out Cowboys’ defensive starters for their poor effort

Eric Edholm
Shutdown Corner

Following Monday night's 45-28 loss by the Dallas Cowboys to the Chicago Bears, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he wouldn't mind seeing the defense being a little more aggressive.

Jones' son, Stephen, the Cowboys' executive vice president, took that a big step further: He told ESPN that the Cowboys' defense didn't even bother showing up in the game.

"You turn on the tape and guys we count on week in and week out didn't show up," Jones said following an NFL owners meeting in Las Colinas, Texas. "I don't know what it was, but we didn't get it done, and I've got to believe we can do better than that."

Watching the unit allow 490 yards of offense and scoring drives on the first eight possessions was enough for Stephen Jones to name names — and some big ones — for the poor effort.

"They've all got to be better," Jones said. "Sean Lee has got to be better. Brandon Carr has got to be better. Bruce Carter has got to be better. Jason Hatcher has got to be better. We've all got to be better. We've got to do a better job when we do have injuries of having better players to get up and be there.

"It's an organizational thing. You just have to do better on the defensive side of the ball. If we want to get to where we want to get to we can't play that type of defense."

The Cowboys have spent big money to put this defense together and have not seen the desired results. They also fired Rob Ryan as coordinator, replacing him with Monte Kiffin, and watching Ryan succeed (with lesser talent, some have said) with the New Orleans Saints has poured extra salt in those fresh wounds.

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Hey, look, another missed tackle! (USA TODAY Sports)

The Cowboys rank dead last in the NFL in yards per game allowed (426.8) and pass defense (298.5), and they rank 28th in run defense (128.4) and 26th in points allowed per game (26.8).

Although Lee injured his neck against the Bears and left the game, he had returned from a hamstring injury after missing the two prior games. DeMarcus Ware, who has battled a quad injury, proclaimed himself fully healthy after the game and he took blame for his play and the defense's effort.

The Cowboys have three more games to right this ship and figure things out defensively, starting with Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers. It's not clear if Aaron Rodgers will start or not, but perhaps it won't matter. The Bears started a backup on Monday and steamrolled them.

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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