IRVING Going into Sunday’s matchup with the Miami Dolphins, the Dallas Cowboys’ defense was the only unit in the NFL without a sack in the fourth quarter through the first 10 weeks of the season.
They finished with three fourth-quarter sacks on Ryan Tannehill and helped the team secure a 24-14 victory, their first since a Week 2 road win against the Philadelphia Eagles.
That same type of pressure will be needed if they want to hand the Carolina Panthers (10-0) their first loss of the season on Thursday at AT&T Stadium.
With 7 minutes, 56 seconds remaining, defensive tackle Jack Crawford sacked Tannehill for the first of the season in the fourth quarter. The sack was also Crawford’s fourth of the season.
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“We felt like it was a good complete team win,” Crawford said. “They had been talking about our lack of a sack [in the fourth quarter] and that had been an issue.
“To be able to end the game on a sack and get three sacks in the fourth quarter, it completely kills an offense, no matter what offense it is.”
The Cowboys are hoping they can continue to end games defensively. Crawford is hopeful their overall play will continue to transcend for the remainder of the season.
“It was a great way to end the game for the defensive line,” Crawford said. “You couldn’t have asked for anything better. As a team, we showed up in all three phases. We’ve just got to keep that momentum rolling going into Thursday’s game.”
Carolina quarterback Cam Newton, an MVP candidate, is big and mobile. He has been sacked only 20 times this season.
The Cowboys only have 19 sacks and need more. Greg Hardy has four 1/2 sacks and Crawford has four.
“That’s our goal,” Crawford said. “Slowly building up our chemistry and being able to apply pressure on the quarterback. We’re just going to keep it rolling and keep that energy up, keep the momentum going in this building.”