FRISCO, Texas – There's going to be an adjustment period to any NFL season – particularly one with such a limited offseason.
Combine that with the fact that Everson Griffen signed on in Dallas during the middle of training camp, and it makes sense if he's still feeling his way along.
"It's Week 2 of the regular season, no offseason training," Griffen said. "I was training on my own doing everything possible to get ready for this season. But rushing the passer is the hardest thing to do in any sport – you've got to beat the tackle and you've got to get to the quarterback."
Griffen notched his first sack of the season on Sunday, a six-yard takedown of Matt Ryan that helped the Cowboys get the ball back in the fourth quarter of their comeback.
That hasn't been enough to quell criticism of the team's pass rush, which has produced just two sacks through two games. That total puts them in an eight-way tie for 30th place, with only the Las Vegas Raiders and Carolina Panthers having fewer.
Asked about it Monday, defensive coordinator Mike Nolan said his guys need to be working on winning their individual battles, but he also noted that the entire unit still needs to mesh at working together.
"I'm a bit disappointed with just the coordination and playing together as one in the defensive line these first two weeks," Nolan said. "Like I said, that's an area we definitely have to improve on. So we'll continue to work on it, like other things, but that is an area that we've got to get better."
One thing that might help, at least for Griffen, is a tweak in technique. As has been well-documented, the Cowboys have been experimenting with putting their pass rushers in a two-point stance in specific situations this season.
Griffen spent a decade playing primarily out of a three-point stance in Minnesota, and he said he plans to go back to that in an effort to get more acclimated.
"That's what I am more comfortable at," he said. "I was trying to work it in and out and seeing where my comfortability was, trying to see, 'Do I like the two-point? Do I like the three-point?' And I'm a three-point man."
As one might imagine, there's a difference between the two. To hear it from Griffen, it sounds like putting his hand in the dirt will allow him to generate more force coming off the line.
"I'm going to make sure I get down in my three-point where I can be more powerful with my hands and then my feet," he said. "I can get on guys quicker and be able to attack and move by feet better and go out there and execute my assignment and get the job done."
As Griffen noted, it's early in the season – and all of the Cowboys' pass rushers are new to this scheme. With any luck, even a small tweak can help ease that transition just a bit.