Mike McCarthy is the only person left with confidence in Mike Nolan

Mike McCarthy might be the only person on Earth who has confidence in the Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator

The Dallas Cowboys were expected to run away with the NFC East title right now. But like their divisional counterparts, the Cowboys are an unmitigated disaster. While their offense looks as great as ever, their defense under new coordinator Mike Nolan has been atrocious. That was evident on Sunday, as the team surrendered 49 points and 508 total yards to the Cleveland Browns, dropping the Cowboys to 1-3 on the season.

Not everyone has faith in Nolan, but he’s got one person behind him for support: head coach Mike McCarthy. While speaking with the media on Monday, McCarthy vouched for Nolan, saying his confidence remains high and that the team will “stay the course.”

Cowboys defense reach historic lows for first month of the season

Through the first four games of the season, the Cowboys have surrendered 430.5 total yards per game (third-most in NFL), 258 average passing yards (tenth-most) and 172.5 average rushing yards (second-most). Perhaps the most telling stat is that Dallas’ defense has given up 146 points, which not only leads the league, but is the most the team has surrendered through the first four games in franchise history.

It’s Nolan’s job to coach his players to owner Jerry Jones’ high-standards, but he hasn’t been given much of a break in terms of the defense’s overall health. Before the regular season even started, the Cowboys lost free agent defensive tackle Gerald McCoy to a torn ACL in training camp. That served as the team’s domino effect. As of this writing, cornerback Chidobe Awuzie and linebackers Leighton Vander Esch, Sean Lee and Azur Kamara are all on the team’s injured reserve. That effectively turned a weakness into a liability.

However, it’s important to note that this is the first time that Nolan has been a defensive coordinator since his three seasons with the Atlanta Falcons (2012-14). And in those seasons, the Falcons defense ranked near the bottom of the entire league.

Luckily for Nolan, he has the chance to redeem himself next weekend, as the Cowboys face off against the New York Giants and their anemic offense.

Next: 3 trades the Cowboys can make to salvage their season

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