Dallas Cowboys rookie pass-rushers rate in NFL’s top-5

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Cowboys didn’t exactly light the world on fire with their pass rush in Week 1 of the NFL season. And based on what we see of the Chargers stellar O-line, we don’t expect that to change much in Week 2.

But two of the Dallas Cowboys rookies are earning some individual praise for their play. And those individual achievements are likely to spill over into team success some point soon.

Dallas Cowboys Micah Parsons and Osa Odighizuwa are two of the top-5 rookies in pass-rush win percentage.

When the Dallas Cowboys selected Micah Parsons in the first round, fans questioned their intent with the Penn State linebacker. Would he be used as nothing but a traditional off-ball linebacker like the top LB picks who came before him (Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith) or will Dallas use him to his fullest, moving him around and rushing the passer?

Dan Quinn gave us the answer in Week 1 when he sent Parsons after the passer 13 times (10 off the edge). His impact paled in comparison to DeMarcus Lawrence but his pass-rush win percentage (a fairly stable statistic) rated in the top-5 of NFL rookies (15.4%).

Joining Parsons on the NFL’s leader board is fellow rookie, Osa Odighizuwa. Osa, the defensive tackle filling in for the injured Neville Gallimore, did more than fill a void in the line-up, he made plays. The third round pick built on his preseason success and performed admirably against one the NFL’s best O-lines last week, clocking a 11.5% pass-rush win rate.

To find success this early in their careers against one of the most accomplished units in the NFL speaks volumes. Their technique and pass-rush plans were fairly elementary, indicating they won primarily through natural ability. As they settle into their defensive roles, Dan Quinn’s mentorship should start to have an noticeable impact. When they can add technique and strategy to their games, watch out NFL.

As we’ve discussed all week, the task ahead this week is no walk in the park. Dallas faces a suddenly-great O-line in Los Angeles and will certainly have their work cut out for them. DeMarcus won’t be there to draw the bulk of attention (out for 8 weeks) so it will be on these “under the radar” rushers to make critical plays.

As we know all too well, the secondary isn’t going to do the pass-rush any favors here. But with so much success so early in their careers, the needle is pointed up for the rookies and the Dallas Cowboys pass-rush. This is going to be a work in progress for the Cowboys so we need to be patient. There’s a lot of nuance involved in being a consistent NFL pass rusher and you can bet Dan Quinn is teaching that as we speak.

Related Story. The best replacement to Michael Gallup isn't so easy. light

dark. Next. Why the Cowboys pass-rush could struggle this week

Feel optimistic Dallas Cowboys fan. The rookies are off to a strong start.