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Thursday, December 29, 2011
Cowboys talk about lack of sacks on Manning

By Calvin Watkins

IRVING, Texas -- The perception is sacks are overrated. Pressures are more important.

When you talk about the Cowboys defense, zero sacks against Eli Manning of the New York Giants in their first meeting doesn't sound good, especially coming from a defensive unit that likes to blitz and has one of the top defensive players in the game in outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware.

Coach Jason Garrett said Manning did a nice job of getting rid of the ball quickly and the pass protection neutralized Ware, nose tackle Jay Ratliff and any blitzes from other defenders.

The pressures, two in the first meeting, need to increase in the rematch on Sunday night.

"You really can't make an excuse, but he was getting the ball out really quick," Ware said. "He is an elusive guy. You've got to give him credit. He did really well avoiding the rush but we've got to change some things up, get some more pressure on him if he's going to pass that much and get some more pressure on him this game."

Manning attempted 47 passes in the first game, the second-most in his career against Dallas. But the Giants running game was shut down by the Cowboys defense, and the disappearance of Ahmad Bradshaw, who was benched in the first half for violation of team rules, also made the Giants a pass-first offensive unit.

If the Cowboys change anything in the second game, its corners and safeties have to hit Manning in order to take pressure off the front seven.

"What changes is guys are doing a whole lot more, studying more. Every play in practice is not like, 'We'll get that tomorrow,'" inside linebacker Bradie James said. "You have to get it right now. The time is now. If you don't understand this opportunity then you're in the wrong place."