Opponents sometimes pass on the Cowboys, in case you haven't noticed. Sometimes, the opposing quarterback has time, makes a play, and all the fans groan. Rightly, we've decided that the pass rush (not just the secondary) is responsible for this defense not being better than it is.
Sacks are a big part of that. Maybe the biggest part, some have argued here lately. Some have suggested that in order to think about being a real contender, we need not one, but two pass rush superstars. Many have lamented that despite Rob Ryan's best efforts, we just aren't bringing the heat. We've made terrible quarterbacks look good, so I hear, by giving them lots of time.
I'm not someone who roams around the internet finding stats and putting them together; I just analyze what I read on BTB. And I read something interesting this morning: 2nd best defense. In the league. In sacks.
Is this correct? If not, let me know what I misunderstood. If so, explain to me why I keep freaking hearing that we don't have a good pass rush.
Do I wish we were first in the league? Sure. Do I wish we had a whole line full of Wares? Sure. But 2nd in the league suggests that our pass rush--our sheer ability to generate sacks--is, perhaps, one of the strongest things about this team.
Now, I know that sacks aren't actually everything. There are hits and pressures. And there are also factors that are harder to quantify--like completely changing your opponents' game-plan, because they're afraid of Ware and the rest of our pass rush. I kind of wish that the NFL kept stats on the number of seconds the opposing quarterback holds the ball, per passing play, before a) getting the pass off or b) getting hit. But absent such a statistic, let's not jump up and down every time the opposing team protects its quarterback. EVERY team has plays in which the defense doesn't collapse the pocket.
But we are 2nd best defense. In the league. In sacks. Does not sound to me like a liability.
Fear the Star.