At times it can be brutal to watch, as the opposing quarterbacks are allowed to stand in the pocket well past the usual time and pick apart a secondary which is being asked to do too much.
As the Cowboys await the return of last season's sack leader DeMarcus Lawrence, just about any and everybody the Cowboys could give a chance to on the roster has gotten one. Well, I believe that two defensive ends in particular have proven their worth as pass rushers, and must be given a greater role in Rod Marinelli's defense.
On this play we see Ryan Davis embarrass the Bears' offensive tackle. He slaps hands off of him, and then shows a nice bend around the edge. If it weren't for a blatant hold, Davis would have had his first sack as a Cowboy in his very first game.
Neither Davis nor Irving played too many snaps last Sunday night against the Bears, as Jack Crawford and Tyrone Crawford took the majority of the snaps at defensive end. In their limited playing time, however, both players made their impact felt.
If given expanded roles, I see no reason why Davis and Irving couldn't come through with some big sacks, hits, or hurries when called upon to rush the passer. Playing Davis/Irving at defensive end also gives the Cowboys a chance to rotate out both Crawfords, who have been asked to play a ton of snaps so far this season.
Irving (#95) and Davis (#75) both did an excellent job at collapsing the pocket during the Bears final couple of drives. When given the opportunity to pin their ears back and go, they forced Brian Hoyer to move his feet and make some errand throws.
Here we see Both Irving and Davis bull rush the offensive tackles off the ball, forcing Hoyer to throw the ball away.
Irving was close to the sack, but he does need to finish on more of these rushes. I noticed that multiple times this season he has gotten close to sacking the quarterback, but could not seal the deal. This will need to change, especially if he is granted the expanded role I am lobbying for.
Once again, David Irving does a fantastic job of collapsing the pocket, beating the offensive tackle around the edge and getting some pressure on Hoyer. He comes closer to sealing the deal here, but cannot bring down Hoyer on his own.
In the end, a fumble is forced, and Irving had a great impact on the outcome of the play.
Obviously, the Cowboys will have a difficult time taking Tyrone Crawford off the field even if it is favor of David Irving or Ryan Davis. Jack Crawford, however, has not been producing the way that we would expect a starting defensive end to do. I like Crawford as a player, but I don't think it is unfair to suggest Irving seeing some more snaps instead of Crawford this week.
On the other side, Ryan Davis looks to be a true pass rusher, something Dallas has seemed to lack through three games. Any way that the Cowboys can find to get him on the field on passing downs needs to be utilized, that much is obvious.
Overall, the Cowboys defensive end situation is shaping up to be better than we had originally thought. With Tyrone Crawford playing end and DeMarcus Lawrence ready to return, there is a chance for the Cowboys to create some serious pass rush in the coming weeks.