The Arizona Cardinals have lost defensive leader Chandler Jones for the season
Lost in the midst of a nice Arizona Cardinals win was the reality they’ve lost their best defensive player for the rest of the season. Chandler Jones exited last Sunday’s game in the first half.
Now what do they do against the Dallas Cowboys this Monday night in Dallas? Jones wasn’t off to a great start to begin with. However his mere presence freed up others to put on a decent pass rush at times.
The Cardinals are rather thin on the line with true pass rushers. They had to push Dennis Gardeck into service last week as he took his first defensive snap of his career.
Though listed as a linebacker on the roster, he has been strictly a special teamer up until this point. Of course the move to insert him against the Jets paid off as he registered a sack on that first play.
Don’t look for any one player to step up, although that could end up being the case. Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said that moving forward the Cardinals pass rush will be a group effort in replacing Jones.
In reality, even though Jones had just the 1 registered sack, his loss will be felt. He is not only arguably the most athletically gifted played on the defense, he is also a leader.
The Cardinals may have caught a break with the Cowboys and Andy Dalton being behind center this week with Dak Prescott out for the season but it will still be a tough challenge. It will only get tougher with the likes of Seattle’s Russell Wilson, New England’s Cam Newton, and Buffalo’s Josh Allen still to face ahead.
Dallas will be a very good test right out of the gate to see how the Cardinals can survive without Jones on the field. Kingsbury may say it’s going to be a group effort but usually a group has a leader. Who will that end up being?