Last year, I (along with most people who followed the Cowboys) considered the defense to be great at stopping the run, very good at generating a pass rush, and mediocre to bad in coverage. As the season went on, it became obvious that the coverage problems revolved around two main guys: Jacques Reeves (Houston has a problem) and Roy Williams. The Cowboys spent the offseason upgrading the secondary with 2 draft picks and a trade, and could continue this by placing Roy Williams on the hot seat if his coverage doesn't improve this year. However, by all accounts, this is already a very good secondary, probably top 5 in the league once everyone is healthy (Newman) and practiced (Jones, Jenkins, Scandrick). So for most of us, the thought of a great defensive coach like Wade Phillips leading this collection of talent means that we'll finally see a domninant defense. I'm excited!
However, this recurring idea keeps popping up over the internet. Apparently, the Cowboys do not have a very good pass rush. Ummm...what? Here are some places I've seen it:
From Bill Simmons:
Postscript: I nearly picked the Cowboys before remembering that they can't rush the passer.
From Peter "Burger" King:
But my feeling is they'll put up enough points to make up for a just-OK pass rush.
I don't understand where this idea came from, but it's surely not from facts, right? The Cowboys finished the season with 46 sacks, third most in the league. NE had 47, NYG had 53 (with that fake inflation from the "Winston Justice" game). Also, DeMarcus Ware tied for 3rd most sacks with 14 (behind Jared Allen-15.5 and Patrick Kerney-14.5) with Ellis' 12.5 sacks tied for 6th most in the league.
So to review, we had the 3rd highest team total for sacks to go along with 2 of the top 6 pass rushers in the league. But we have a weak pass rush. Well....okay.