The key ingredient to a Ryan defense, Buddy, Rex, or Rob, is pressure on the quarterback. The Cowboys defense follows the same formula. The Cowboys are able to get pressure on the quarterback without blitzing because of the talent of DeMarcus Ware. This week against the Chicago Bears, Ware will have to be a terror in the backfield to insure a Cowboys victory and keep his spot as a top pass rusher in the National Football League.
Ware cemented his place as an elite pass rusher as he sacked Eli Manning early in the first quarter of the week one victory. That sack was number 100 in Ware’s illustrious career. On the season to date, Ware has recorded four sacks in three games and is only two off the pace of the NFL lead.
Pressure on the quarterback is important for any defense, because it makes everyone’s job easier. The less time a quarterback has to scan the field makes it easier for defensive backs to play tight coverage. Pressure on the quarterback also causes the quarterback to get rid of the ball before he is ready, which gives the defense a chance to intercept the pass.
A defense can put pressure on the quarterback in two ways. They can rush 3 or 4 linemen and hope to beat the offense off the ball, or they can send more guys than the offense has to block, called a blitz. The advantage of a blitz is that someone is unblocked, but the disadvantage is a blitzer is a man taken out of the coverage scheme, creating a hole in the defense if the blitz does not hit home. With a player like DeMarcus Ware on the football team, the Cowboys can create pressure without the use of a blitz, keeping more guys in coverage.
In week two, the Bears only loss of the season to the Green Bay Packers, their weakness was apparent to even the novice of observers. The Bears offensive line gave up seven sacks and quarterback Jay Cutler was battered the entire game. Outside linebacker Clay Matthews had three and a half sack himself. Cutler was so flustered he was seen having a shouting match with his teammates, especially offensive tackle J’Marcus Webb on the sidelines.None of the shouting helped and because of the pressure on Cutler, the Packers intercepted four passes and turned three of those interceptions into points.
On Monday night when the Cowboys play Chicago, in Cowboys Stadium, they will need to apply the same amount of pressure that Green Bay applied in week two. Dallas has the horses up front, led by Ware, to keep the pressure on Cutler every time he drops back to pass. The Cowboys have also posted the best pass defense in this young NFL season. They will need the pass rush to be effective to let their defensive backs make plays to help them pull out the victory.
Rob Ryan is no different from his father and his brother. He enjoys putting the quarterback on their back and bringing pressure from all different places. Having a guy with the talents of DeMarcus Ware, the job of putting pressure on the quarterback is taken care of. The pressure from Ware and the defensive front makes the job of the secondary much easier. If the Cowboys are to win Monday night, we will hear Ware’s name early and often as he wreaks havoc on Cutler and the Bears.