When DeMarcus Ware stripped the ball on both of his sacks last week against Tampa Bay, it gave him a Cowboys record 29 forced fumbles for his career.
Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said Ware, like all the Cowboys, gets a film breakdown of where every quarterback likes to hold the ball, so he knows what area to target as he’s closing in for a sack.
“He’s always going to secure the tackle, but when he’s coming down with that club, he’s going for the ball,” Ryan said. “Ben Bloom, one of our assistant linebacker coaches, he puts together a ball disruption tape. So we know where the quarterback holds the ball. We show it to them the night before. So we know when we’re coming down to make the tackle, we’re always going where we think that ball’s going to be.”
Ryan said Bears quarterback Jay Cutler sometimes holds the ball near his waist, but other times it’s higher. But with pocket passers, it’s easier to get a bead on the ball.
“We’re going after it where we think it’s going to be,” Ryan said.
The Cowboys have three takeaways through three games, Sean Lee’s interception and Orie Lemon’s muffed punt recovery last week and a fumble recovery by Barry Church (forced by Lee) in the opener against the Giants.
“That’s the one part of our game that’s just not there yet,” Ryan said. “We keep fighting it. We’re going to get it there. It wins games for you. When you can turn the ball over and give it to our high-powered offense, it’s going to make a difference.”
-- Carlos Mendez