Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said the team's pass rush held them back from competing for a championship.
"At the end of the day, [the pass rush is] probably what cost us a chance to win a championship last year," Jones told Ben and Skin, a radio show on KRLD-FM. "We just didn’t quite have the pass rush we needed to stop an Aaron Rodgers when we needed to stop him or make the play that needed to be made when you’re trying to win a Super Bowl, so these guys are getting a lot of good teaching. Rod Marinelli is one of the best in the business, you’ve got Leon Lett, who’s certainly a Cowboys legend in his own right. It’s just a great group of guys out there helping these young guys hopefully get better at rushing the passer.”
This off-season, the Cowboys looked to improve their pass rush by signing defensive end Greg Hardy, despite his 2014 domestic violence conviction, and drafting defensive end Randy Gregory in the second round.
Hardy registered 26 combined sacks in 2012 and 2013, but only played in one game last season due to his arrest. He will be suspended for the first four games of the upcoming season.
Gregory was seen by many experts as a first-round talent, but slid in the draft after a failed drug test for marijuana. Gregory led the Big Ten in sacks in his only season at Nebraska.
The Cowboys open the 2015 season on Sept. 13 at home against the New York Giants.
- Rohan Nadkarni