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Can New DE Ryan Davis Jump-Start The Cowboys Pass Rush?

He had a reputation for disruption in Jacksonville, can he bring that to the Cowboys?

Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

There are two things you hear about the Cowboys newest player, defensive end Ryan Davis. One, he was a fan-favorite in Jacksonville, with constant exasperation from that fanbase that he wasn’t getting more playing time. And two, that he was a “surprise” cut. Basically, no one over there can figure out why the Jaguars didn’t take advantage of what they had in Davis. That could be great news for Dallas, as Rod Marinelli would certainly love to have a talented piece to add to his pass rush unit.

So who is Ryan Davis?

He was an undrafted free agent signed by the Jaguars in 2012. In 2013 he started to receive time on the field after being promoted from the practice squad. Over his time in Jacksonville, he accumulated 11 sacks. 10 of those came over the last two years. Davis got a reputation for being an effective interior pass rusher even though he’s not that big. He’s 6’ 2” and only 265 to 275 pounds, depending on who you ask. He relies on speed and technique to get into the backfield.

Over at SB Nation’s Jaguars blog, they did this analysis of his sacks per snaps in comparison to some of the guys he was playing behind. This is part of the reason the fans were so high on him, and so exasperated with the Jaguars for not giving him more playing time.

Snap counts over the last two seasons (via Football Outsiders) and sack totals over that time are as follows:

Ryan Davis: 550 snaps. 10 sacks

Andre Branch: 926 snaps. 7 sacks

Chris Clemons: 1,451 snaps. 11 sacks

Average out their pass rushing efficiency and the numbers come out to this:

Ryan Davis: 1 sack every 55 snaps

Andre Branch: 1 sack every 132 snaps

Chris Clemons: 1 sack ever 132 snaps

The Jaguars never gave Davis significant playing time. 550 snaps over two season averages out to about 17 snaps per game.

Also from Big Cat Country, we get some looks at his pass rush abilities from the inside and the outside.


He’s the defensive tackle on the left side of the offense.


Again, he’s the defensive tackle on the left side of the offense.



On the right side of the offense, he’s not the outside guy with his hand down, but the one next to him.


On the left side of the defense, he’s #59.


Based on his time in Jacksonville, the Cowboys are getting a guy who produced in his limited playing time, and who is versatile enough to play along the defensive line, rushing from the outside or inside. The Jags tried to convert him to an outside linebacker this offseason, the OTTO position made famous in Seattle, but for whatever reason that didn’t work.

Now, Rod Mrinelli has what appears to be a very interesting prospect to add to his Rushmen. And not a moment too soon.

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