"We're going to have to figure out how to get back there again, and once we start I'm pretty sure it'll be rolling."
Cowboys defensive end Marcus Spears had that to offer when asked about the team's seeming inability to get to the quarterback after week two; at this point, after games at Tampa Bay and against New York, the local media seemed miffed slightly by the team's sack total which was exactly zero--and following a season that saw Dallas lead the league in this regard with 59.
It was unforeseeable, and vaguely alarming; but players, and Spears in particular, offered up some form of the aforementioned statement tirelessly. Once it begins, it will not stop. So far, it seems they hit the nail on the head. Week three would see three sacks, by Dallas, and, like clockwork, they began to pile up.
After the team's win over Atlanta, during which they got to Matt Ryan four times, the total stands at 14--not particularly remarkable for this group in general, but all things considered, kind of impressive.
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Which might explain the knowing smile on Spears' face on Wednesday, when he was asked about the sudden wave of unadulterated QB harassment.
"Offenses have got to revert back to what they do," Spears said, grinning. "Obviously, you've got to account for guys, and you've got to account for '94' and you've got to account for Ratliff, but if those two guys make you change your whole game plan, then you lose the identity of your offense. Now teams are getting back to doing what they were doing.
"When we were playing these first games, I mean, you guys saw--quarterbacks throwing the ball out of bounds on the third step, 'cause they don't want to take sacks. That's still going to happen, but at the end of the day, you've got to run your offense, you've got to try to be the team that you are. Usually, when you've got a five or a seven step drop, if you're not getting rid of it, '94' or '90' are going to be there."