Dallas Cowboys at San Diego Chargers: Five Things to Follow

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Nov 2, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (90) rushes the passer against Dallas Cowboys tackle

Doug Free

(68) in the third quarter at AT&T Stadium. Arizona beat Dallas 28-17. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys Bookends

The Dallas Cowboys had one glaring deficiency in 2014 – the pass-rush. The Cowboys managed to average only 1.8 sacks per game in 2014, ranking them #28 in the NFL. Cincinnati, Atlanta, Oakland, and San Diego were the only teams worse than the Cowboys in the sack department.

Fun (sad) Fact: 1.8 sacks per game was actually worse than what the record-breakingly bad defense averaged the season before when they averaged 2.1 sacks. Teamrankings.com

The Cowboys’ dearth in the sack department became all too obvious in the playoffs when a crippled Aaron Rodgers stood clean in the pocket, free to distribute the ball without fear of getting hit, hurried, or, (God forbid) sacked.

The Dallas Cowboys made it clear from the start of free agency that upgrading the pass-rush was their upmost priority. They very deliberately appropriated funds to address the pass-rush at the expense of re-signing DeMarco Murray.

With former Pro Bowler Greg Hardy on board, a year of development for DeMarcus Lawrence, and the addition of first-round talent, Randy Gregory, the Dallas Cowboys aggressively addressed their biggest weakness.

Without a strong pass-rush the Dallas Cowboys have absolutely no chance at finding a better ending. Finding a RB to replace DeMarco is extremely important, but it’s a pointless task if the Cowboys can’t generate a pass-rush.

Key Players to Watch: DeMarcus Lawrence, Greg Hardy, Randy Gregory, and Ben Gardner

Next: Speaking of RB Play….