Ray Carlin / MCT
August 16, 2014
When the Ravens think ahead to the regular season, they picture their defense as a dominant unit, something it hasn't consistently been since 2011.
So far, no good.
In a weirdly paced first half in Dallas, the Ravens failed to generate much pressure on Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, struggled to cover wide receiver Dez Bryant and spent too much time chasing running back DeMarco Murray from behind. On one third-down screen pass, Ravens defenders were virtually absent from the picture as an armada of Cowboys rolled to a big gain.
The overall results looked decent, but that was largely because Romo flubbed a handoff on his first possession and essentially spoon fed Courtney Upshaw (pictured) a touchdown return.
The Ravens allowed the Cowboys to dominate possession and accumulate 13 first downs in the first half. The defense seemed tired, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said during his televised halftime interview.
There's no need to panic, given the quality starters in each layer of the defense. But defensive coordinator Dean Pees will be looking for something better against the Washington Redskins on Saturday.