The Cowboys have not yielded more than 80 yards rushing in the past four games, and they have allowed fewer than 100 yards in five of the past six games.
Consider that the defense the past five games has given up an average of 262 yards. Dallas has given up only four touchdowns and 60 total points in that stretch while recording 27 sacks.
Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said the difference is the team's ability to stop the run.
"We have just established that the other team is not going to run the football early in the game," Phillips said. "It's confidence.
"Once you realize they are not going to be able to run the football on you, you can take more chances, you can attack more, you can go up the field more, you can make calls where they are pass-rushing and reacting to the run rather than just the regular run recognition, then recognizing pass. I think that's part of it. Then just having some individuals like we have.
"We had a good rush last year. We were strong, and I think we have improved."
MONDAY LEFTOVERS: LB DeMarcus Ware and TE Jason Witten are shoo-ins to be named to the NFC Pro Bowl team on Tuesday, but the Cowboys will not have 13 Pro Bowlers as they had last year. However, look for NT Jay Ratliff and LB Bradie James, who are both having career years, to be honored with trips to Hawaii.
* The Cowboys have not allowed more than 80 yards rushing in any of the past four games. They have also been on a sack spree with at last five sacks in each of those games.
Stopping the run is key.
"You have to stop the run," NT Jay Ratliff said. "That makes a team one-dimensional. Then it opens things up. They have to open up the offense. Once they do that, we can pin our ears back and get after it."
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