Sunday, October 2, 2011
Ryan: Stafford not playing Plano East
By Calvin Watkins
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and his defense held Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford to just 88 yards on 9-of-23 passing in the first half.
Stafford also threw one interception, a bad pass to receiver Calvin Johnson that was picked off by Gerald Sensabaugh.
But as the game progressed, Stafford got better. He finished 21 of 43 for 240 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score to Johnson with 1:39 to play.
Coming into the game, the Cowboys were second in the NFL with 13 sacks. They had none against Stafford. The Lions had numerous offensive alignments in which they kept a tight end to protect, and had three or four wide receivers with no running backs to spread out the defense. Stafford also used a quick release.
"They went empty the whole game with protection," Ryan said. "I don't know. He's getting rid of the ball. He hit 9 of 25 of whatever he was in the first half. Guy did alright. He's not playing against Plano East, I can promise you."
It was the first time this season the Cowboys didn't register a sack, but they had six quarterback hurries, led by DeMarcus Ware's three.
The pressure was the most the Lions had seen this season.
"I think their defense had a lot to do with it, pressuring the quarterback, and they had an outstanding scheme," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said.