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Pressuring Brady An Obvious Necessity

When in doubt, just try to pressure the quarterback. It'll be a huge part of the Cowboys' plan to disrupt Tom Brady this week.

"I think that's important every week," Jason Garrett said. "You always want to effect the quarterback and make him move off his spot. You don't want him to be comfortable in the pocket, so you do that individually with just pass rushers beating offensive linemen or tight ends or backs, and you also try to do that with scheme. This guy's a great player, though."

As efficient and high-powered as Brady and the New England offense can be, the Patriots can still be beat in the same way as other teams, with constant pressure on the quarterback.

It helped the Bills beat New England earlier this year. While they never sacked the future Hall of Famer, they did hit him four times, and gave different looks up front, enough disruption to force four interceptions. In their  playoff upset of New England last year, the Jets sacked Brady five times.

And maybe the most encouraging sign for the Cowboys, Rob Ryan's Cleveland Browns shut down New England's passing game in Week 9 of 2010. While they sacked him just once, hit him only twice and didn't intercept him all game, they forced Brady into short throws by keeping things in front of the safeties and creating confusion up front.

The end result was a flat, 226-yard performance by Brady, who was pulled in the fourth quarter.

So it can be done, the Cowboys know, but that won't make it easy. Brady has been sacked only eight times in five games this year.

After creating 12 sacks in the first three games of the season, the Cowboys only got to Detroit's Matt Stafford once in Week 4, in large part because of how quickly he got rid of the ball. Brady has that ability as well.

"You've just got to keep going," linebacker Anthony Spencer said. "This guy, he's the same type of way. He's going to get the ball out fast. He reads coverages pretty quickly and gets the ball out. So we're just going to have to keep at it." 

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