Cowboys targeting pass rusher this offseason
While the Dallas Cowboys were able to sack Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers twice, including forcing a fumble, in Sunday’s 26-21 NFC Divisional Playoff loss, the Super Bowl XLV MVP completed 24 passes on 35 attempts for 316 yards and three touchdowns. The pressure was not consistent enough to disrupt Rodgers and get the Packers offense off the field.
The lack of pass rush was the Cowboys’ downfall, which wasn’t too much of a surprise for a team that finished with the fifth-fewest sacks in the league with 28.
However, the Cowboys front office is not ignorant of the deficiency, and will look to address it in the upcoming off-season.
"We’ll certainly be looking in free agency to find the right type of guys," Cowboys Executive Vice President and Director of Player Personnel Stephen Jones told 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM] Monday. "You know, not just any player fits into a Rod Marinelli defense."
What is the type of player that fits into Rod Marinelli’s defense?
"You’ve got to have people who are willing to lay it on the line and play the game in a relentless fashion. And certainly those are the type of character and the type of players we’ll be looking for."
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Now that the offensive line’s rebuild is complete, Jones indicated that the focus will also be to upgrade the defensive line through the draft, just as they did with the offensive line. In some respect, they have with rookie defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and third-year defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford both coming on strong in the final part of the season.
"Well, I think it is, and guys like Tyrone Crawford and DeMarcus Lawrence â that defensive line, we’re starting to chip away at it no different than we did the offensive line."
Defensive ends George Selvie and Anthony Spencer are all free agents this off-season, as are defensive tackles Nick Hayden and Henry Melton. With eight picks in the draft, it isn’t expected Dallas will use half of those picks on pass rushers. Like last off-season, the Cowboys could delve into free agency to fill part of the pass rushing needs.
"Obviously our goals going into the off-season will be to upgrade there on the defensive side of the ball and put a couple of good players with some guys who are really good football players," said Jones. "So, we’re looking forward to that."
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