FRISCO, Texas – Kris Richard is paying attention, but not too much – if that makes sense.
The man is tasked with calling the Cowboys' defense, so of course he's aware his guys have managed just five sacks in three games, which is a number that places them among the bottom 10 in the NFL.
So when you ask him about the state of his pass rush, he naturally things there's room for improvement.
"It's coming," he said Thursday. "The ball is coming out fast, we're getting a lot of max protection – and that's what we can expect or anticipate."
With the number of talented pass rushers on this defensive line, it makes sense that teams would focus on limiting them. A report on ESPN.com indicated that DeMarcus Lawrence has been double-teamed on 35 percent of his snaps, which leads all edge rushers through three weeks.
Richard hasn't crunched those numbers himself, but he agreed that it does look like defenses are focusing on Lawrence more than they have in the past.
"I would have to go back and take a better look over the past few weeks, but it's wise," he said. "That's wise of an offense. He presents an absolute challenge, each and every single week that he steps out there, because of the nature of his play and the style of our defense."
Going back to the original point, these are all things that Richard would prefer not pay attention to. It's not a secret the Cowboys need to get home more often, and Richard wants them focusing on that – not what's being said about it.
"The big thing for us is to make sure that we just continue to keep rushing, keep playing, not allow statistical facts or non-facts or whatever it may be to become a distraction," he said. "At no point in time can we ever allow that to become a distraction or focus in on that."
Robert Quinn joined the effort last week, and it seemed to make a big difference. With the Miami Dolphins focusing on Lawrence, Quinn helped jump start the pass rush and spurred the Cowboys to three sacks in the second half. If he can keep that up, it should help with the amount of attention being paid to the other side of the line.
"It makes a huge difference for us, right, because really that's what we're trying to do," Richard said. "Each and every single snap that we have out there, we want to create as many one-on-ones as possible to allow our guys to do their work."
They'll have their work cut out for them this weekend. The New Orleans Saints employ one of the best sets of offensive tackles in the league in Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk.
But again, that's probably something Richard would rather not hear about.
"We just have to keep rushing, keep playing, keep doing right and they will come, and they will come in bunches," he said.