Dallas Cowboys

Could Ryan Davis play a bigger role along Cowboys’ D-line?

Rod Marinelli is still trying to mix and match his D-line groups.
Rod Marinelli is still trying to mix and match his D-line groups. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

The Dallas Cowboys didn’t have a sack against the Chicago Bears last Sunday night, and have only four on the season.

Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli wasn’t pleased with the pressure they got on Bears backup Brian Hoyer, and said he’ll continue mixing and matching players along the defensive line until he finds the right formula.

“Find out who wants to do it,” Marinelli said after the game.

Ryan Davis is a guy who may find himself more in the mix. He was credited with two quarterback pressures in eight snaps in his first game action with the Cowboys.

The Cowboys signed Davis earlier this month after he was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars, and he became the most proven rusher on the roster with 11 career sacks. The Cowboys didn’t activate him for Week 2 at Washington, but had him as rotational depth against the Bears.

“I felt I did pretty good,” Davis said of his Cowboys debut. “I definitely want to go out there and provide a rush when my number is called. I’m just going to pin my ears back and go.”

Davis’ two quarterback pressures are already more than starter Jack Crawford (1) has through three games, as well as offseason addition Benson Mayowa (1). David Irving leads the team with seven pressures.

Sacks, of course, remain the priority. The Cowboys are on pace for 21 on the season, which should be a concern. This is a team that has ranked near the bottom the past two seasons with 28 in 2014 and 31 in 2015.

Asked about the lack of sacks on Wednesday, coach Jason Garrett said: “You obviously want to sack the quarterback. Really important for us to do that. We do think we affected the quarterback a number of times in the game, made him uncomfortable at different times in the game based on what the score was.

“There was a little more three-man rush and more eight-man in coverage. So your expectation level for sacks in those situations might be a little bit lower. But again, you want to affect the quarterback and I thought we did that throughout the game.”

Garrett was then asked about Davis’ performance in the fourth quarter.

“He did some good things,” Garrett said. “He was around the quarterback a little bit. I think you have to continue to learn how to rush in those kinds of situations, got to make sure you don’t run past the quarterback, want to make sure you affect him and have smart level rushes. I thought he did a better job of that as the game wore on.”

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