The Washington Commanders are making a change on defense. The Commanders fired defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio following the team's 45-10 Thanksgiving Day loss to the division rival Dallas Cowboys. Head coach Ron Rivera announced Friday morning that both Del Rio and defensive backs coach Brent Vieselmeyer were relieved of their duties. 

According to NFL Media, Rivera will "presumably" take over defensive play-calling duties. 

The Commanders rank 29th in the NFL in yards allowed and 32nd in points allowed this season, and had previously gotten lit up by New York Giants third-string undrafted free-agent backup Tommy DeVito last week. After Dak Prescott completed 22 of 32 passes for 331 yards and four touchdowns without taking a sack on Thursday, Washington ranked dead last in the NFL in passing touchdowns allowed, as well as third-to-last in passing yards.

Del Rio's defense was excellent during his first season in Washington, but had been extremely inconsistent during his three-plus seasons at the helm. It regressed badly against the pass after that debut season, culminating over these past few weeks with consecutive awful performances. 

The team checked in top five in yards and points allowed, as well as passing yards and passing touchdowns allowed, and interceptions, in 2020, but was routinely in the bottom-five to bottom-third in the league in most of those areas ever since. 

YearRoleOpp YdsOpp PtsOpp Pass YdsOpp Pass TDOpp Int

In the wake of the team having traded both Montez Sweat and Chase Young at the deadline, Washington was unable to generate much pressure over these past few weeks, putting even more of a burden on a clearly-overmatched defensive backfield. They did not appear up to the task, and the team apparently feels that the coordinator and position coach were to blame. 

Given the way this season has gone, it would not be surprising if new owner Josh Harris and his partners looked for an entirely new front office and coaching staff come January.