The Dallas Cowboys will face a rookie quarterback in their Week 2 game Sunday against the Seahawks, and the statistics show the Cowboys should send plenty of added pass-rush pressure. In Russell Wilson’s debut last week, the Cardinals sent five or more pass rushers on 23 of his 43 dropbacks, the most any quarterback faced in Week 1. Wilson completed just 6-of-18 passes, averaged just 2.6 yards per pass attempt and was sacked three times in those situations.
Against a standard pass rush, however, Wilson was much better as he completed 12-of-16 passes and threw his only touchdown. Giants quarterback Eli Manning also had little problem passing in Week 1 against the Cowboys’ standard pass rush, finishing 18-of-25 for 189 yards and a touchdown.
Here are three other statistical areas to watch Sunday:
• The Seahawks will need to contain Tony Romo’s passing outside the pocket. Neither the Cardinals’ John Skelton nor Kevin Kolb tested the Seahawks on passes outside the pocket as they combined to go 0-for-3 in Week 1. Romo, however, was 3-for-5 passing for 50 yards outside the pocket in the Cowboys’ opening week win over the Giants, which included a pair of touchdown passes Kevin Ogletree. Romo tied for first in the NFL last season with 10 touchdown passes outside the pocket, and was the only quarterback with touchdown passes from outside the pocket in Week 1.
Passing Outside the Pocket, Week 1 (Total QBR)
Tony Romo 98.1*
Aaron Rodgers 90.3
Tom Brady 69.7
Ben Roethlisberger 64.6
Matt Cassel 62.2
*3-5, 50 yds, 2 TD in Week 1 vs. Giants
• Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch picked up plenty of rushing yards last season after contact. Lynch finished third in the NFL in yards after contact with 620 in 2011. Lynch had 135 rushing yards in a Week 9 loss to the Cowboys last season, 56 of which came after contact. Since Week 9 last season, no NFL player has rushed for more yards than Lynch, who has 1,026 yards in that span with more than half of them (524 yards) after first contact.
Most Rush Yards Since Week 9 of 2011 Season
Marshawn Lynch 1,026*
Ray Rice 943
Reggie Bush 820
Willis McGahee 803
*Includes league-high 524 yds after contact
• The Cowboys’ DeMarcus Ware will be the focus of the Seahawks’ pass protection scheme. Ware has 68 sacks since the start of 2008, which is the most in the NFL. The Cowboys, as a team, have the third-most sacks in the league in the span with 181. Ware has been on the field for 174 of the 181 sacks. The Cowboys record a sack every 20.8 plays when Ware is on the field. When Ware is off the field, the Cowboys’ sack per play rate is more than double at every 46.3 plays.