Defensively, the Cowboys feature some good talent, as well several returning players from last year. As a unit, they ranked fifth in the Big 12 in total defense, led by former Kansas defensive coordinator Bill Young.
Overall, they are in the middle of the pack in pretty much every statistical category. Interestingly, they are last in the league in interceptions with three.
In their two wins, they've been solid, in shutting out Savannah State, while holding them to 139 yards. Against Louisiana, the Cowboys had a shutout going until allowing 24 points in the second half.
In their two losses, they've allowed yards and points. Against Texas, they allowed 41 points (although, seven came on a kick return by Texas' D.J. Monroe) and 440 yards. Their low point came out in the desert in Week 2, as they surrendered 501 yards and 59 points in a 59-38 loss to Arizona.
At defensive end, the Cowboys will feature a rotation of senior Cooper Basset (6-5 270), senior Nigel Nicholas (6-3 269) and senior Ryan Robinson (6-4 250). The tackles are sophomore James Castleman and junior Calvin Barnett. Castleman is the leading tackler of the group, with 16 total, four for loss and one sack.
The Cowboys linebacking crew is very talented and can make things happen. They're led on the senior Alex Elkins (6-3 230) on the weak side with 21 total tackles, two for loss and a sack. In the middle, comes junior Caleb Lavey (6-3 240) with 17 total tackles. Junior Shaun Lewis mans the strong side and can make plays with 17 totals tackles, 3.5 for loss and 1.5 sacks.
The Cowboy corners are fast and athletic, led by senior Broderick Brown (5-8 185) and junior Justin Gilbert (6-0 194). Brown is among the best in the Big 12 and Gilbert is well known for dynamic kick returning abilities. The safeties are juinors Shamiel Gary (6-0 210) and Daytawion Lowe (5-11 205), who leads the team in tackles with 21, including two for loss and a sack.
In addition to being one of the best kickers in the country, senior Quinn Sharp is also one of the best punters in the country. He's virtually assured to have the opportunity to kick or punt on Sundays a year from now.