Through the first five weeks of the season Gerald McCoy totaled 4.5 sacks, 14 tackles and looked well on his way to a fourth Pro Bowl appearance. Since the bye, however, things have tailed off, with the former Sooner now looking to end a three-game skid without a sack along with just four tackles in that span.
Bucs DT Gerald McCoy – photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
But turning things around won’t come easy this Sunday. The Cowboys offensive line, according to McCoy, is second to none.
“It’s the best offensive line in the league, you can quote me on that,” McCoy said. “They work so well together. Individually, they are all talented. But what makes them so good is how tight-knit of a group they are. If one guy gets beat, there is always somebody helping him. That’s always a great thing for a running back or a quarterback to have an offensive line of that caliber.”
ProFootballFocus.com would seem to agree with McCoy. The analytics site ranked Dallas’ five-man front, which consists of four former first-round picks, as the No. 1 run blocking and No. 2 pass blocking O-Line in the league.
While this should prove to be the D-line’s toughest test yet, McCoy looks forward to the opportunity; one he believes he’ll look back on and remember as the time he played against one of the greatest lines in history.
“I’m sure people who play in the NBA, someday when they retire they say, ‘Well I got to play against Kobe Bryant or LeBron James’ or whoever it may be,” he said. “This is one of those once in a generation offensive lines where you’re like, ‘Man I got to play against that group.’”
Behind “that group” is Darren McFadden. Since taking over as the starting running back in Week 7, the former Heisman candidate has rushed for 333 yards on 76 carries and is showing no signs of slowing down – or injury.
McCoy knows that if the defensive line doesn’t win its battles and loses gap integrity, it will make for a long afternoon against Run DMC.
“Guys have to win one-on-ones in the run game,” he said. “You have to beat the man in front of you, simple as that… We have to get up field on this team, otherwise it’s going to be a long day on the ground.”
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
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