Same Two Guys, Just With Help

Parcells said. "Being able to play more players, helps in this game. I think it helps in basketball. I think you can play at a better level."

Depth is always a good thing. But there's a difference when you have quality depth.

When the Cowboys go to their second defensive line, it often includes veteran Jason Ferguson at nose tackle, and rookie ends Chris Canty and Marcus Spears. And there isn't much of a drop off, if any.

"There better not be," said Parcells, who said the second unit actually does some things better than the first-team, which includes Kenyon Coleman at left end.

While depth allows Ellis and Glover to be fresh at the end of games, the Cowboys have also surrounded them with better talent, which sometimes takes the focus of those two veterans. And what a change that is.

"It's nice to see other guys getting double-teamed every once in a while," said Glover.

And one of those other guys is rookie DeMarcus Ware, who plays right end in the nickel defense. While Ware might still be transitioning into an outside linebacker in the 3-4 scheme, he's starting to figure out how to rush the passer as an end, the position he played in college.

Ware has recorded one all of his team-leading four sacks in each of the last four games. Last week, the Giants basically double-teamed him for most of the game, using another tight end or running back to help their left tackle Luke Petitgout, who is considered one of the NFL's best tackles.

"He's finding out what the real world is like," Parcells said of Ware. "That's when you find out whether they're going to be dynamic or not. They're trying to do something to negate his pass rush now. So as a result that Greg Ellis is having a pretty good go at it. If you can just get enough of them up there."

Parcells even referred to Buddy Ryan's Eagles team of the early 90's. All of us remember Reggie White, but Parcells said Philadelphia could be dominant because not only did you have to focus on White, which warranted two and sometimes three blockers, but then you had Clyde Simmons and Jerome Brown to deal with, too.

"You could do what you want with Reggie but Jerome was going to be a problem and so was Mike Pitts and Simmons," said Parcells, who saw his share of the Eagles front while coaching the Giants. "They were all going to be pretty good. If you can get enough of them at once then you really have something."

So just what do the Cowboys have here on their line?

Improvement for one. The sack numbers speak for themselves. This team already has 20 sacks in six games. That's a pace for about 53 in one season.

Just know they had only 33 last year, and that was their highest single-season total since 1999 (35). In Dave Campo's three seasons as head coach from 2000-02, the Cowboys finished the year with 25, 24 and 24 sacks.

Ellis remembers.

"Yeah, you can see a big difference," he said. "We've got a lot more guys who can bring it. That helps. You can't just focus on me and La'Roi like they used to. Now, we've got a bunch of players coming at you. And you can't really double-team one or two players. You have to account for all of us."

That might be true, but it still starts with Ellis and Glover.

No matter how surprising that might have sounded back in the summer.

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