Bastille foreshadowed the Dallas Cowboys' defense pretty well in their 2013 single 'Flaws.'
All of your flaws and all of my flaws
They lie there hand in hand
Ones we've inherited, ones that we learned
They pass from man to man
There were flaws on the defensive line, within the linebacking corps, and in the secondary in a 20-point blowout that could've been worse if it weren't for a Charger fumble at the one yard line. But, just as sagacious Bastille lead singer proclaims, we'll see that we need them to be who we are, without them we'd be doomed.
It's not a great defense the Cowboys will roll out week to week. That's who they are. It can get better, and there were things to build off of in the season's first action.
Brandon Weeden performed well in Cowboys debut, taking significant snaps in Tony Romo's absence. The former Brown went 13-of-17 for 107 yards and a touchdown while playing the whole first half. Weeden showed poise in a two-minute drill setting at the end of the first half, completing five consecutive passes during a span of just over a minute, but the drive stalled on a botched snap to end the half.
But Weeden's efficient performance, which included an 11-play, 80-yard touchdown drive, is encouraging for a backup that could see way more snaps than any backup would in an ideal situation.
Weeden's 76 percent completion rate in the extended debut was a large step above his successors Thursday, as Caleb Hanie and Dustin Vaughan combined for 50 percent completions and a crucial fumble inside the Cowboys' 10-yard line.
Joseph Randle's 3.8 yards-per-carry average might bury what was a promising first drive. Randle rushed with authority on the Cowboys' opening drive, gaining 29 yards on his first six carries before the Cowboys -- in very Cowboys fashion -- abandoned the run game on that possession. Randle proving to be a servicable backup would be an asset, if the team does commit to using Demarco Murray more in 2014.
Enough will be said about the performance of the second team defense, which exposed the thinness of the defensive unit in giving up 221 yards and 15 first downs in the first half, and didn't force an incompletion until the fourth quarter.
But the crux of preseason football is the injuries. Thursday, two rookies left the field banged up. Ben Malena was diagnosed with a strained quadriceps and was labeled 'questionable' to return, but left the stadium on crutches after the game and said he heard his leg pop.
Ahmad Dixon, who was forced to make 12 tackles in the secondary, was tested for a concussion after taking a blow to the head in the third quarter.
The Cowboys - especially on the defensive side of the ball - have proven to be a fragile group over the past year, and it's one that can't afford to lose more players in meaningless games. Dixon and Malena likely won't be called on to be majority contributors no matter the circumstances, but depleting the depth of an already-shallow team is worse than any big or small number on the stat sheet from the first game of the preseason.
A good old-fashioned whooping in the return to the field for last year's worst defense in the league, that finds itself once again depleted by injuries is not encouraging. But when the games don't count, you can look for little victories.
And the Chargers' final drive of the first half was just that for the Dallas defense. After being marched on time and time again, the Cowboys' defense forced a field goal on a goal line stand with just under two minutes left in the half. San Diego took over possession with 4:32 left before the intermission, and after driving it to inside the one-yard line, failed to punch it in against the second unit in Blue and Silver. Fourth-round pick Anthony Hitchens was among members of the front seven to make a touchdown saving tackle with the defense's back against the wall before Nick Novak knocked home a 24-yard field goal.
That was the only momentum the defensive unit would carry Thursday, but Cowboys fans can hope that's the tenacity they'll see on that side of the ball this season.