IRVING, Texas - Taking down the quarterback has been an issue for the front four.
The quarterback pressures continue to pile up, but the Cowboys' defensive line is responsible for just one of the defense's three sacks through three games to start the year.
"I think they've done some good things and there's some things that we've got to get better at – both in defending the run and getting after the quarterback," said head coach Jason Garrett. "I think each of those guys has shown flashes of being somebody who can impact the game in a real positive way, be a factor in the games... At other times, it hasn't been as good."
Linebackers Rolando McClain and Bruce Carter each have one sack this year, tying for the team lead in the category. Henry Melton and Kyle Wilber have half a sack each after combining to take down Jake Locker in Tennessee.
Apart from that, no other defensive lineman has brought down the quarterback. With the eight-man rotation going on with the line, a lot of them will have an opportunity to change that. [embedded_ad]
"We're trying to give different guys a chance to play and show what they can do," Garrett said. "We're trying to keep guys fresh. We believe in that rotation. At times we've been very, very sound on the defensive line and done the right things, done our jobs, had gap discipline, affected the quarterback, run stunts well. At other times we haven't impacted the game enough. That's really everybody on our team."
The lack of sacks doesn't always mean a lack of pressure, which was evident most against the Titans and Locker, who looked uncomfortable for much of the day. By the end of that game, coaches had already credited Tyrone Crawford with six quarterback pressures and Jeremy Mincey with four through two games.
But the hope is the sack total will start climbing, as the Cowboys are currently one of just six teams with three sacks or fewer. It won't help that Melton got banged up in the Rams game, with Garrett confirming a hamstring injury for the defensive tackle. The Cowboys, however, could potentially get Anthony Spencer back as soon as this week.
"We'll just see – take him day-by-day," Garrett said. "He's worked very hard the last few weeks just to get back. We'll see what he's able to do on Wednesday."