Cowboys: Spotlight on Lions DT Ndamukong Suh

Posted Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Height: 6-foot-4 Weight: 307

Season: 4th College: Nebraska

Strengths: Suh arguably was the top player in college football in 2009 and the top draft prospect in 2010 when the Lions made him the No. 2 overall pick. He has a rare combination of size, strength and athleticism. At the 2010 Scouting Combine, he bench pressed 225 pounds 32 times, ran the 40 in 4.98 and had a 351/2-inch vertical jump. He has 101/4-inch hands that he uses well. Suh has great instincts. He will clog running lanes as a run-stopper and collapse the pocket as a pass rusher. He is a team captain for the first time, having stepped up his leadership. Suh is a dominant defensive tackle and is talented enough to become one of the best in NFL history.

Weaknesses: Suh’s aggressiveness and nastiness sometimes works against him. He has been penalized, fined and called into the commissioner’s office numerous times. In his career, Suh has been fined seven times for $209,000, losing another $165,294 in game checks for a two-game suspension in 2011. A recent Forbes poll found that 43 percent of NFL fans dislike Suh, making him the third-most disliked player in the league. Suh had endorsers lining up for him when he left Nebraska, but his illegal hits, combined with some off-the-field incidents, have lowered his appeal. On the field, Suh is not as consistent as he should be.

Last game: Suh had three tackles and a sack in the Lions’ 27-24 loss to the Bengals.

Who has to stop him? The Cowboys shored up the interior of their offensive line this season with three new starters. Right guard Brian Waters has allowed two sacks and has one holding penalty; rookie center Travis Frederick has allowed two sacks and has one false start penalty; and left guard Ron Leary has allowed two sacks with two false starts and two holds.

Notable: Suh’s mother, Bernadette, is from Jamaica. His father, Michael, is from Cameroon. In the Ngemba language of Cameroon, Ndamukong means “House of Spears.” … He has 25.5 career sacks, only four from passing Shaun Rogers as the Lions’ all-time leader for career sacks by a defensive tackle. … He has 3.5 sacks this season. … He had 10 sacks as a rookie, earning Defensive Rookie of the Year honors as well as a Pro Bowl invite. … Suh and Nick Fairley rank sixth among defensive tackles in the league with five combined sacks, tied for seventh in tackles for loss on rushing plays with 4.5 and tied for eighth in negative plays with 9.5.

— Charean Williams

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