Cowboys want a rotation like Seattle's DL

The Seattle Seahawks have what the Dallas Cowboys want, and it’s not just a Super Bowl title.

The Cowboys would like to do with their defensive line what the Seahawks do with theirs: rotate a lot of players so nobody gets worn out and to keep the opposing offensive line on edge.

The Seahawks have three defensive linemen who have played more than 40 snaps in a game this season: Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and O'Brien Schofield. Bennett and Avril are the only defensive linemen to play at least 40 snaps in every game for Seattle.

Seattle mixes in Jordan Hill, Kevin Williams, Brandon Mebane and Tony McDaniel for anywhere from 11-25 snaps a game. As a result, the Seahawks wear teams down.

"They rotate those guys in,” coach Jason Garrett said. “That’s something that we believe in. When you play a four-man scheme, if you can get guys playing six, seven, eight guys, if you can get an eight-man rotation on your defensive line, those guys are going to be fresher, and hopefully they’ll be more effective as a result of that. There’s healthy competition for jerseys on the weekend, for playing time on the weekend. Those are all really good things. So they do that as well as anybody.”

The Cowboys have four defensive linemen who have played at least 40 snaps in a game so far in Jeremy Mincey, Tyrone Crawford, Nick Hayden and Henry Melton. Mincey has done it in four of the first five games. Crawford has done it the last three.

It hasn’t really improved the pass rush in terms of sacks, but Garrett believes the line is affecting the play of the opposing quarterback.

“We use the word 'affect' a lot,” Garrett said. “You got to affect the quarterback. You affect with individual pass rush. We affect with dogs and blitzes that you would bring. I think at different times we were able to do that [against Houston], force him to hurry a throw, maybe throw from an uncomfortable position. I think we were able to do that throughout the game even though we didn’t have the sacks.”

Texans defensive end J.J. Watt played 71 of the 76 snaps against the Cowboys. The Texans weren’t going to take him off the field unless he wanted to come off the field.

Coming up with rotations might be easier when you don’t have a Watt or DeMarcus Ware. Until Ware’s final few years, he did not come off the field much for the Cowboys. The Cowboys don’t have a Watt or a Ware. They don’t have a Bennett or Avril, either. But they hope the parts added together can equal a better whole.

“There have been great defensive linemen who have been rotated in,” Garrett said. “Charles Haley was part of a rotation here years ago, and he was a similar type player. I think keeping those guys fresh is a big part of it. It’s certainly some guys are going to have to fight through. They’ll play more snaps. That’s just the nature of where they are. But rotations help up front. There’s no question about that.”

Cowboys want a rotation like Seattle's DL Cowboys want a rotation like Seattle's DL Reviewed by Mr. DCStands4 on 8:58:00 PM Rating: 5

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