The New England Patriots’ overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday earned them a lambasting from Pro Football Hall of Famer Ty Law.
Law, a shutdown cornerback during the Patriots’ early dynasty years, tore into New England’s defense Monday during an appearance on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show.”
“I’m really upset about what’s going on,” Law said, as transcribed by MassLive.com. “Because you don’t let people come in there and walk all over you, throw the ball like that anytime they want to. I mean, that’s shameful.”
The Patriots allowed the most total yards (567) and the most passing yards (445) of any game in the Bill Belichick era during their 35-29 loss to Dallas. The Cowboys only punted once and held the ball for nearly 40 minutes. New England’s defense delivered multiple red-zone stops — including an interception in the end zone and a four-play goal-line stand — but was on the field for 89 snaps and showed visible late-game fatigue.
Though the Patriots spent big to improve their defense this past offseason, Law believes that group badly needs an infusion of young talent.
“Defense, they have to step up,” he said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen in this offseason. I can tell you right now, if I had a vote, we’d be going first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth round — we’re getting all defensive guys and we’re going to get some wide receivers and running back in free agency, because something’s got to give with the defense.”
Law also wants to see more from J.C. Jackson, who now is New England’s unquestioned top cornerback following the Stephon Gilmore trade. Jackson was not flawless against Dallas but broke up four passes and allowed just two completions after the Cowboys’ opening drive.
“You have to have somebody that can cover,” Law said. “I mean, we were looking for Jackson to step up. He was playing pretty good football. But I didn’t want to pass him the mantle just yet when we’re talking about him compared to Stephon Gilmore. But you have to have guys in the back that can step up and make plays.”
Fellow starting corner Jalen Mills struggled in the second half Sunday, allowing two touchdowns and a key 24-yard completion to wideout CeeDee Lamb. The Patriots’ lack of depth at the position is becoming a problem, as their fourth corner against Dallas was special teamer Justin Bethel, who’d played just 17 defensive snaps over his first 30 games with New England.
The 2-4 Patriots will look to rebound this Sunday against the 1-4 New York Jets, whom they routed 25-6 in Week 2.