Grades from the blowout loss to the Cowboys
It was an equally miserable afternoon for the linebackers, for similar reasons. They generated no pass rush, missed tackles all over the field and looked lost in their own scheme against a dynamic offense.
Once again, Demario Davis and Christian Kirksey led the team in tackles. Unfortunately, these tackles were more often than not much too far down the field. Recently acquired linebacker Jamie Collins also got into the action right away in his debut, recording eight tackles, the third most on the defense.
Even though the linebackers made far and away more tackles than any other defensive unit, they also missed their fair share. Many of these were due to Elliot’s ability to escape, and many came as a result of the team’s inability to seal the edge.
The most disappointing aspect of the linebackers’ performances though was their pass coverage. The unit has been solid in this area over the past few weeks, but Sunday was a much different narrative. Defending the tight end was an adventure, as Witten torched Cleveland for 134 yards and two touchdowns. Helping out in this area was not a success for the linebackers, as they left Witten and Gavin Escobar wide open all over the field.