Despite serious investments in the secondary, the Cowboys haven't been very good at stopping teams from passing the ball. The biggest investment -- cornerback Brandon Carr -- says that will change in 2014.
Carr even went so far as to say he and the Cowboys are ready to "take over the league."
"I'm trying to take over the league," Carr said Sunday night. "I get emotional when I say that because I'm dead serious, man. I've been playing this game for six years now, and I'm just ready to make that jump and become that shutdown corner."
But the shovelstuff maneuver hasn't panned out. Dallas ranked 27th in Football Outsiders pass defense metrics in 2013 (while giving up a whopping 286.3 passing yards per game, third worst in the league) and 25th in 2012.
Playing in multiple schemes doesn't help of course. 2014 will feature the third coordinator -- first Rob Ryan, then Monte Kiffin now Rod Marinelli, so just two schemes technically -- for Carr since his arrival in Big D.
He thinks Marinelli's approach to defense, which will feature lots of press man from the corners, will result in Dallas winning more on defense than years past.
"That's the plan," Carr said. "As this thing gets on a run, we'll see how it shakes out, but we just want to be in a position to win ballgames. We felt like we disappointed ourselves last year. We've got a big chip on our shoulders. But last year is the past, and it's time for us to clean the slate and get ready to play this year."
Part of Carr's expectation is built on losing 10 pounds and claiming he's in the best shape of his life. (He's certainly the first player to profess such a thing in May.)
His motivation is good but here's a crazy idea: Before taking over the league, let's strive to finish above .500 and win the NFC East.