It’s a problem that has managed to linger through the tenures of Bill Parcells, Wade Phillips, and now Jason Garrett. Penalties, we mean.
The Cowboys committed 114 penalties this season, good enough (or bad enough, we guess) for fifth most in the NFL. It was the sixth straight season that Dallas has committed more than 100 penalties, a span that dates back, as we mentioned, to the days of The Tuna, himself.
On Wednesday, ESPN Dallas broke down who committed the penalties--and not surprisingly, left tackle Doug Free was among the worst offenders with ten. Only a little more surprisingly, DeMarcus Ware was tied with Free with ten penalties of his own.
We tend to give Ware a break, here, as a matter of what he was penalized for: seven offsides, two roughing the passer calls and a neutral zone infraction--all of which seem a result of Ware’s aggressive style of play and ability to get off the ball quickly (okay, sometimes too quickly), which cost the team some penalties but also led to Ware stacking up 19.5 sacks on the year.
It’s harder to defend Free, because Free just wasn’t that good this year, penalties or no. The left tackle’s penalties were split in half, between holds (because he was beat off the edge a good bit) and false starts (which seemed to come in bunches).
After Ware and Free, the worst offenders were Anthony Spencer, Tyron Smith, Orlando Scandrick (8 penalties each), Alan Ball (7 penalties) and Montrae Holland (6).
The complete breakdown can be found here.
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