Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys spotlight on Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh

Stopping Miami defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, above, will fall to Cowboys guard Zack Martin and center Travis Frederick.
Stopping Miami defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, above, will fall to Cowboys guard Zack Martin and center Travis Frederick. AP

Ndamukong Suh

Height: 6-4 Weight: 320

Season: 6th College: Nebraska

Strengths: Suh can be one of the most disruptive defensive players in the game. It’s why the Lions selected him with the No. 2 overall pick in 2010 and why the Dolphins signed him to a six-year, $114 million deal in the off-season. He has a rare combination of size, strength and athleticism. He bench pressed 225 pounds 32 times, ran the 40 in 4.98 and had a 35  1/2 vertical leap during the 2010 scouting combine. He has 10  1/4 -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 has gained 15 pounds from last season.

Weaknesses: Suh has received criticism for taking plays off. Earlier this season, critics questioned whether the massive payday had muted the edge he plays with. He struggled to make any kind of impact with his new team early on. Suh has developed a reputation as the dirtiest player in football. Suh has cost himself $420,000 in fines and suspensions in his career. He avoided a fine earlier this season for kicking the helmet off Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris. His aggressiveness and nastiness can be used against him.

Last week: Suh played his best game in the Dolphins’ 20-19 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, with seven tackles, a sack, three quarterback hits and three tackles for loss.

Who has to stop him? Suh likely will see some double teams inside. He had three tackles and two sacks against the Cowboys in the playoffs last season. All-Pro guard Zack Martin and Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick face their toughest test of the season. Martin has allowed three sacks and has been called for a holding penalty. Frederick has no penalties and has allowed no sacks.

Notable: His 40 career sacks are the most for a defensive tackle since he entered the league in 2010. Cincinnati’s Geno Atkins ranks second with 38. … His 260 tackles leads all defensive tackles since he entered the league. … He also has 36.5 stuffs to lead all active defensive tackles since 2010. … His mother, Bernadette, is from Jamaica. His father, Michael, is from Cameroon. In the Ngema tribe in Cameroon, Ndamukong means “House of Spears.” … He had 10 sacks as a rookie, earning Defensive Rookie of the Year honors as well as a Pro Bowl invite. … He is a four-time Pro Bowler.

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