The Cowboys haven’t ranked in the top 10 in sacks since 2011. They haven’t had a double-digit sack leader since defensive tackle Jason Hatcher made 11 in 2013.
Yet, DeMarcus Lawrence argues the Cowboys defensive line is underrated. Really, that’s what he said.
“I mean, all right, let me tell you something,” Lawrence said via Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News. “I’m pretty sure that we were fifth in the NFL in sacks last year. Am I correct? So I don’t feel like it’s pressure. I feel like we need to keep getting better as a unit because everybody is talking down on the D-line like we weren’t doing our job last year. Yeah, we lost in the playoffs, but we still was doing our job. I don’t feel like y’all give us enough credit as a unit for what we should have.”
The Cowboys actually ranked 13th in sacks last season. Benson Mayowa led the team with six. Lawrence, who showed promise in 2015 with eight sacks, had only one sack in nine games last season.
It’s easy to counter Lawrence by pointing out that their inability to get to Aaron Rodgers in the playoffs cost the Cowboys a chance to advance to the NFC title game for the first time since 1995. The only two sacks the Cowboys had of the Packers quarterback in the divisional-round game came on safety blitzes.
It’s a reason, along with the suspensions of defensive linemen David Irving and Randy Gregory, that the Cowboys used their first-round pick on Michigan defensive end Taco Charlton.