The Dallas Cowboys' defense was egregiously terrible in 2013, allowing the third-most yards from scrimmage in NFL history.
A new season brings optimism for every team, but the Cowboys have reason to be concerned their defense might not be much improved. The defense will be without DeMarcus Ware (released), Jason Hatcher (free-agent loss) and Sean Lee (torn ACL).
Those are some tough losses, but owner Jerry Jones is trying to keep things positive.
"Because we were so bad last year, there's no place but up," Jones said, according to ESPN.com.
Dallas made some modest additions in the offseason. The team signed Henry Melton, Jeremy Mincey, Terrell McClain and Amobi Okoye. They invested a second-round pick in DeMarcus Lawrence and re-signed Anthony Spencer, who is out for the foreseeable future after undergoing microfracture knee surgery.
Not exactly a group to daydream over, but Jones insists the defense is better now than the one that limped to the finished line last December.
"I can say it this year, we are better right now," Jones said. "And I think better on the field. We're certainly better on paper than we were at the end of the season last year. Not on paper at the beginning of the season last year, but on paper right now relative to how we ended up last year."
The Cowboys are going to play a lot of 35-31 games this season.