The Dallas Cowboys have lost Pro Bowl nose tackle Jay Ratliff, Pro Bowl defensive end/linebacker Anthony Spencer and now rush linebacker Demarcus Ware, another Pro Bowl pass rusher. Yet Dallas sits significantly ahead of the Bears in the vital area of rushing the passer despite a lineup with a number of players from what one pundit termed the “witness protection program.”
General manager Phil Emery wasn’t placing call to federal programs but the reality is that the Bears are faced with the weekly challenge of getting a pass rush from what they have on the roster, because impact pass rushers are not sitting home by phones.
The question, however, is how much better David Bass, Shea McClellin, Zach Minter, Cornelius Washington and even Corey Wootton can become.
Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker necessarily has no interest in who’s not at Halas Hall but rather in finding results in the same cast that haven’t shown before this.
“We haven’t hit our ceiling with any of the guys that we have now,” Tucker said. “We feel like some guys have higher ceilings than others but we all need to get better. That’s the goal. We feel like we should get better day in and day out, and carry it over into the game. That’s our goal.”