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Pasch Factor: Impact Of Chandler Jones

Edge rusher as been exactly as promised since trade

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In 1982, the quarterback sack became an official statistic. Since then, the Cardinals team leader in sacks has been in double digits only 13 times. Arizona has had a couple of standout seasons, with Bertrand Berry registering 14½ sacks in 2004, and John Abraham finishing with 11½ sacks in 2013.

Outside of that, sack leaders for the Cardinals over the years haven't had gaudy numbers.

In fact, they often came from players who were best known for things other than rushing the passer. Calais Campbell or Adrian Wilson or Rob Fredrickson. The old NFL scout adage "pass rushers don't grow on trees" has

certainly applied to the Cardinals in the past. However, times are changing in Arizona.

Chandler Jones has given the Cardinals an elite edge rusher. Jones has five sacks so far this season, along with two forced fumbles. In four-plus NFL seasons, Jones has 41 sacks and 12 forced fumbles. His strip-sack of Russell Wilson last week was a thing of beauty. Jones was almost parallel to the ground when he grabbed Wilson with his left hand and knocked the ball loose with his right hand. That type of athletic ability hasn't been seen around these parts, and is rare in general. Plus, when you have an edge presence like Jones, it makes everyone on the defensive line better.

Markus Golden led the team in QB pressures last season and finished with four sacks. He had a very solid rookie season. In Year Two, Golden has been on a tear. Already this season, Golden has six sacks and seems to be in the backfield on almost every pass. Both Golden and Jones have drawn multiple offensive holding calls and false start penalties. The attention that Jones gets from offenses has made life easier for Golden. Teams then have to worry about Golden, which leaves Jones in one-on-one situations. We all thought Golden would be a good NFL player, but not many envisioned a Pro Bowler. The addition of Jones has helped Golden immensely and he is sure to get consideration for that honor.

Jones went to the Pro Bowl last year, and will be in the discussion again this season. Jones, who was a first-round pick by New England in 2012, came to the Cardinals via trade this offseason. The Patriots believed Jones would have demanded too much money next offseason when he becomes a free agent, so they gambled and traded him for Jonathan Cooper and a second-round pick. Arizona was banking on Jones helping transform the Cardinals this season as well as signing him to a multi-year deal before he becomes a free agent. (The Cardinals could always slap the franchise tag on Jones if they can't come to an agreement.) The bottom line is that the Cardinals are benefiting in a big way from Jones production in 2016, and hope it continues for years to come. 

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