Tuesday, September 24, 2013
The Cowboys are piling up the sacks
By Calvin Watkins
After three weeks, the Cowboys have 13 sacks, second in the NFL behind Kansas City's 15. Of those sacks, 10 have come from the defensive line, four from end DeMarcus Ware and three from tackle Jason Hatcher.
While the increase of turnovers has been a point of discussion in Monte Kiffin's 4-3 defense, Cowboys have seven this season, creating sacks thanks to the teachings of line coach Rod Marinelli has been equally important.
After three games last season, the Cowboys had seven sacks, not bad, but tied for 10th in the NFL at that time.
This season the Cowboys are pushing the pocket with a variety of pass rushers not named Ware or Hatcher.
George Selvie, who is starting at end over the injured Anthony Spencer, has two sacks, linebacker Bruce Carter has two on blitzes and Kyle Wilber, a backup end for Ware, also has one sack in 2013.
But when you see what Marinelli has done with the defensive line you become more impressed considering he doesn't have two projected starters in tackle Jay Ratliff and end Anthony Spencer.
"Rod's done a fantastic job," coach Jason Garrett said. "He's a great football coach. He's a great man. He's a great football coach. He's great for our team. I think Leon Lett has done a fantastic job working with Rod and those defensive linemen have really responded well. If you think about our defensive front, we have a couple of guys who are very established players in Ware and Hatcher. We have some other guys who have been playing since the start of this season who have come from a lot of different places. Nick Hayden and George Selvie."
Hayden replaced Ratliff at tackle in the starting lineup and the team has also gotten contributions from Edgar Jones and Wilber along the front line.
"You just try to get them in that room and you start teaching them, asking them to do the things that we want them to do," Garrett said. "Then, you drill them in practice and you take it to a game and each of those guys have responded well to the opportunity."