On paper, the Dallas Cowboys defensive line appeared menacing heading into the 2020 season. In reality, through two weeks, it’s mostly been docile.
The Cowboys defense has struggled to disrupt the quarterback despite boasting the likes of DeMarcus Lawrence, Dontari Poe, Everson Griffen, Aldon Smith, Tyrone Crawford, Trysten Hill and Antwaun Woods. Dallas has two sacks total through two weeks — one in each game — seven QB hits and just 14 total hurries, per Pro Football Focus.
Cowboys players are aware they haven’t lived up to the hype thus far.
“These past two games, we haven’t been generating pressure that well, to be honest with you guys,” Griffen said, via the Dallas Morning News. “I feel like we’ve got to do a better job at generating pressure.
“If that’s putting big guys in the middle to get more push in the pocket, if that’s switching it up, doing whatever we have to do to generate that push in the middle, whatever we have to do.”
New defensive coordinator Mike Nolan’s defense has been picked apart through two games, allowing 59 points and offenses to move up and down the field. The defensive front was supposed to make up for questions in the secondary. It hasn’t been the case thus far.
Nolan has had his lineman use two- and three-point stances to diversify their rush. Moving forward, Griffen wants to put his hand on the ground more to get back to how he’s used to rushing.
“It’s a big difference,” Griffen said. “I’ve been doing it with my hand in the dirt for the past 10 years now. Standing up a little bit, it’s a little different, but I’m going to get the hang of it.”
Facing Russell Wilson and a Seattle offense that has divebombed opponents, if the Cowboys can’t sustain pressure this Sunday, it could be another ugly outing for the Dallas defense.