A major problem in Sunday's game, which played a huge part in allowing Eli Manning to torch the secondary, was the lack of a pass rush. The Giants quarterback wasn't sacked once, and was only hit twice.
It certainly didn't help the Cowboys that their best player, the game's most elite pass rusher, was so bothered by lingering effects from a neck stinger the previous week that he missed roughly half the game. DeMarcus Ware had little to no impact, leaving Anthony Spencer and Victor Butler to chase Manning.
"It's hard to play with something like that," Spencer said. "You're pretty much feeling it every play."
Spencer said he didn't think New York adjusted their protection to Ware's absence, but the Cowboys' rush was without a doubt handicapped. Spencer and Butler have a combined 9.0 sacks on the year compared to 15.0 for Ware.
"I really don't think they knew when he was going in and out," Spencer said. "It was just back and forth. It would be hard for them to adjust to something that quickly."
While Ware has participated in this week's very light practices, he may still be bothered for the immediate future, which means the rest of the Cowboys' rush must step up or the secondary will be left out to dry once again. Spencer, who has 6.0 sacks on the year, second on the team, says he's better off not trying to be another DeMarcus Ware.
"I try not to," Spencer said. "I really try to just focus and play every play the same way as every other play, and try not to put too much exertion, or try to make too much happen. That's when bad things start to happen is when people try to do too much, and I really try not to do that. I try to focus on the things I have to do each play."
Manning is one of the hardest quarterbacks to sack in the entire league, having been dropped only 21 times this year. Josh Freeman of Tampa Bay is among the top 10 most difficult to get to as well, as the Buccaneers have only surrendered 24 sacks in 2011.