One of the keys to Saturday's match-up between Dallas and the unbeaten New Orleans Saints, according to Cowboys' defenders, is throwing a wrench in the well oiled machine that is the Saints' uber-dynamic offense. Read: applying pressure to Drew Brees early and often.
This won't be easy, at any rate.
The Saints have allowed just 15 sacks on the year, the third fewest in the league and DeMarcus Ware, very possibly the best pass rusher in football, may sit out with a neck injury. Despite returning to the practice field on Thursday, Ware was limited and will likely be a game-time decision.
If it sounds daunting, it is. But the defense is not ready, to use Wade Phillips' terminology, 'cow down' just yet, with or without their All-Pro linebacker.
"With [Drew Brees], he's extremely accurate with the football and a very smart player, and it's always about getting pressure on the quarterback," said Brooking. "Obviously, that's key for us, for our defense to have success...We have to disrupt the timing of the passing game, not just with him but with the receivers as well, and reroute them and get them off their marks because it's a timing offense.
"When you take away your best defensive player, when you take him out of the mix, obviously that's going to affect you. But we have to be prepared for that."