Sports Outside the Beltway

Dallas Cowboys Sack Numbers

Tim Cowlishaw has come to the startling conclusion that Wade Phillips will likely improve the Dallas Cowboys’ ability to sack the quarterback in the upcoming season. No big news there, right?

But the numbers are interesting:

As San Diego’s defensive coordinator last season, Phillips watched his team sack opposing quarterbacks a league-leading 61 times. And it wasn’t all about having league leader Shawne Merriman on board. Take away his 17 sacks – and that’s a heck of a lot to take away – and the Chargers still would have ranked fourth in sacks. Take away his 17 sacks, and the Chargers still dump the quarterback 10 more times than the Cowboys in 2006.

That’s pretty scary. But there’s more:

Forget the Chargers’ 61 sacks. The Cowboys haven’t had a 40-sack season since 1994.

In Dave Wannstedt’s and Dave Campo’s and Mike Zimmer’s schemes, the emphasis was more on preventing the big play than creating havoc. That was true even after defensive guru Bill Parcells came to Dallas.

And a 40-sack season is really no big deal. Each year close to half the league gets to that figure. In the 12 years since the Cowboys had their last 40-sack season, 25 teams have had at least four of them. [emphasis mine]

Anyone who followed the Cowboys the last few years knew they weren’t getting to the quarterback. I had no idea, though, they were that bad.

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