With half a sack, it's 'hard to look in mirror' for Cowboys' defensive linemen

There are 133 NFL players who have a higher sack total this season than the Dallas Cowboys’ defensive line.

“Obviously right now we can’t even put a full sack together with the guys that we have in our D-line room, which is upsetting,” left defensive end Tyrone Crawford said. “It’s hard to even look in the mirror in the morning.”

As far as sacks go, all the Cowboys’ “rushmen,” as defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli refers to the defensive line, have to show for the first three games is a half-sack by defensive tackle Henry Melton. He shared that with Kyle Wilber, a linebacker who lines up at right defensive end on some passing downs, so you can bump that up to a full sack if you want to be kind.

But Marinelli, who is preparing to face Drew Brees and a New Orleans Saints passing game that will pick apart the Cowboys if he's allowed to sit comfortably in the pocket, doesn’t want to be kind. He certainly doesn’t sugarcoat things during meetings.

The Cowboys hope to get a boost from the return of Anthony Spencer on Sunday.

“He gave us the nickname ‘rushmen’ and we’re not living up to it right now,” said Crawford, who leads the Cowboys with nine quarterback hurries but is still hunting for his first career sack. “It sucks for us because we know we've got to go in there and report to him every day. We know that he wants these sacks just as much as us. So it’s kind of a crappy feeling not to have gotten any yet.”

Added right defensive end Jeremy Mincey, who has seven quarterback hurries: “It’s tough, man. We got a lot of close-but-no-cigars. We’ve been getting a lot of rush, but it’s not the game-changing rushes we need to bring forward.”

The Cowboys’ problems generating pressure can’t be considered a surprise. Look at the personnel. Of the Dallas defensive linemen who have played this season, Mincey has the most career sacks with 20.

All-time franchise sacks leader DeMarcus Ware and 2013 sacks leader Jason Hatcher left this offseason. They’re tied for ninth in the league with 2.5 sacks each with their new teams. At this pace, the Dallas defensive line won’t produce five sacks all season.

But the Dallas defensive linemen are confident that they’ll start closing the deal on pass rushes. Marinelli hammers the details daily, stressing things such as getting off the bull rush just a bit quicker. And help is coming with Anthony Spencer, who had 11 sacks in 2012, potentially being ready to return from microfracture surgery Sunday against the Saints.

“We’ve been getting a lot of pressures,” said Melton, a 2012 Pro Bowl selection who is nursing a sore right hamstring. “Sacks up front haven’t been coming yet. When they do come, it’s going to come in bunches. We all feel that. We’re really close. We’re just going to keep working as one.”

And working toward one sack.

With half a sack, it's 'hard to look in mirror' for Cowboys' defensive linemen With half a sack, it's 'hard to look in mirror' for Cowboys' defensive linemen Reviewed by Mr. DCStands4 on 11:48:00 AM Rating: 5

#Cowboys TV