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In the trenches: Cowboys lead NFL with 33 sacks, despite poor officiating on holding calls

Dallas defensive front leading NFL in sacks, despite the Bears’ offensive line not getting called for holding on a pass play.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a few days since the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Chicago Bears in a convincing 49-29 victory, with the Cowboys scoring the most points in a game across the NFL this season. Despite this great victory and how both the defense and offense performed, there was a looming shadow over the officiating of the game in the trenches, in particularly the Bears’ offensive line not being called for offensive holding on multiple occasions.

Micah Parsons, Dante Fowler Jr, and DeMarcus Lawrence all felt the frustrations when clear holding penalties were not picked up by officials. The Cowboys defense prevailed despite this, still managing to sack QB Justin Fields four times, and getting into the backfield recording seven tackles for loss.

The Cowboys got those four sacks from Lawrence, Fowler Jr, Osa Odighizuwa, and Jayron Kearse as they all made the Bears’ offensive line buckle under the pressure.

Parsons, despite being held by offensive lineman Braxton Jones, managed to get back into the secondary to make a fumble recovery and not to be touched by Fields, making it a live ball that allowed Parsons to get to the endzone and score his first defensive touchdown. Parsons, who is among the top in most categories defensively, is one of the front runners for Defensive Player of the Year.

Chicago Bears v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

In this game the Cowboy’s pass rush did its job overall, pressuring Fields 21 times. However, during the pass rush, there were times the pocket would collapse allowing Fields to escape through the gaps. He rushed for 60 yards on eight carries. The Cowboy’s run defense had a much harder job on their hands as they struggled to contain the Bears’ rushing attack as they totaled 240 rushing yards with two touchdowns.

With new Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins added to the roster, he was immediately put into the game. He played 33 snaps recording three tackles. With the Cowboys on their bye week, this will give more time for Hankins to adjust and understand the system that defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is implementing.

Despite the Cowboys offense taking more of the headlines, the Cowboys still gave up a lot of rushing yards and it was the most points that were scored against the Cowboys this season. For the pass rush, the Cowboys are now sitting way ahead in front with 33 sacks, seven more than the San Francisco 49ers who are second with 26 sacks.

However, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn will have time to study the film over the bye week with defensive line coach Aden Durde and try to iron out the leaks in the run defense. They will prepare to go to Lambeau Field at the end of next week to face Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

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