- Jean-Jacques Taylor, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Cowboys need a pass rusher. Martez Wilson, converting from linebacker to defensive end, thinks he can help.
The Cowboys had just 34 sacks, tied for 25th in the league, last season, and 11 belonged to defensive tackle Jason Hatcher, who signed with Washington in the offseason. DeMarcus Ware, who had seven straight seasons with at least 10 sacks before last season, is now with Denver.
This is why the Cowboys are looking for anyone to step up and rush the passer.
Wilson, entering his fourth season, had a sack against Baltimore, and his first step has enabled him to show flashes as a pass rusher throughout training camp. The Cowboys told him his best chance to make the team was as a pass-rushing defensive end so he's committed to learning a new position.
He can handle the pass-rushing requirements, but playing the run well is an issue.
“This is the first time playing linebacker in my life. This is the first time I’ve had a defensive line coach,” said Wilson, “I’m learning that the tackle’s first step will tell me everything I need to know about what technique I should use.
“It’s not hard, but it takes time to recognize it because the game is different when your hand is on the ground. I’m trying to get to the point where I can react instinctively instead of thinking out there.”