Stephen Jones: Pass rush cost Cowboys chance at title

The Dallas Cowboys' pass rush was a concern entering last season. Executive vice president Stephen Jones said it's probably the real reason the Cowboys bowed out of the playoffs.

"At the end of the day, it's probably what cost us a chance to win a championship last year, we just didn't quite have the pass rush we needed to stop an Aaron Rodgers when we needed to stop him or make the play that needed to be made when you're trying to win a Super Bowl, so these guys are getting a lot of good teaching," Jones told KRLD-FM on Monday, per the Dallas Morning News.

While Dez Bryant's non-catch catch receives all of the attention, Dallas' defense couldn't stop an injured Rodgers, who clearly couldn't run well. A good pass-rushing squad would have caused more havoc to the All-World quarterback.

With the addition of second-round pick Randy Gregory and Greg Hardy, Jones believes the team upgraded the weakness. With Demarcus Lawrence also expected to make a leap, the Cowboys' front could be the defense's strength in 2015.

"I'd start by just looking at the new faces," Jones said. "You look at a guy like Greg Hardy or Randy Gregory, you just start with those two right there is a huge difference. Then you take a Demarcus Lawrence, where he's come in a short period of time. He's totally redeveloped his body and is probably the perfect left end. ... He's the real deal, Demarcus Lawrence is.

"Obviously a guy like Tyrone Crawford is coming into his own," Jones continued. "You just look at these young guys who are coming, and coming fast, compared to what we were trying to get it done with last year, we've just improved on paper a lot. Now we've got to have it translate to the field, and at the end of the day, have it translate into more wins and a chance to win a championship."

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