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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Cowboys put consistent heat on Bucs QB Josh Freeman



The Bucs’ offensive line had one of its poorer performances this season against the Cowboys on Saturday night.

The reason, according to the Bucs, was quite simple.

“You don’t want to make any excuses about up front,” coach Raheem Morris said. “They just beat us. They were better men today. There were no blown assignments. There were just men beating guys. You have to go out there and win (matchups).”

Quarterback Josh Freeman was sacked three times and consistently was under pressure.

And the problem manifested itself in ways beyond just sacks. In the fourth quarter, with the Bucs hoping to edge within a touchdown, Freeman was called for intentional grounding when he threw a ball out of bounds while under duress.

Right tackle Jeremy Trueblood was beaten by star linebacker DeMarcus Ware for a sack in the second quarter and previously was called for a false start that turned a third-and-4 into a third-and-9. Meanwhile, left tackle Donald Penn struggled with defensive end Sean Lissemore, resulting in another sack.

The Bucs, who faced a 3-4 front from the Cowboys, didn’t respond well to the mixed looks that Dallas presented.

“DeMarcus Ware is a stud, and you’re playing a Rob Ryan defense and they really mix things up,” Freeman said. “They use a lot of defensive stunts up front and they move guys around to kind of distort (the look of the defense). That being said, when you’re playing a team like that, early on, I just have to get the ball out of my hands as quick as I can.”

[Last modified: Sunday, December 18, 2011 1:05am]


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