Ryan adds wrinkles to Cowboys' front

Posted July 31, 2011 @ 4:03 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was hired for his defensive creativity. That talent will be tested right away. The loss of DE Stephen Bowen, one of the Cowboys' better front-three rushers, leaves the team with no ideal interior penetrator other than NT Jay Ratliff. And considering that OLB Anthony Spencer is coming off a down season in which his pass rushing declined, that leaves DeMarcus Ware as the one completely dependable player who can generate pressure on his own for a majority of the snaps. Enter Ryan — even in the first few days of camp, he has tinkered with his family-trademark formations with one D-lineman (Ratliff) and five linebackers, all stunting and rushing from different angles to create confusion. Expect more wrinkles, including stunts and twists, along with odd personnel and blitz packages. Still, the pressure the Cowboys create will have to come from somewhere, but from Ware as well.