Arizona Cardinals: Top Five Pass Rushers In History
By Scott Allen
Dec 8, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett reacts against the St. Louis Rams at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
4. Eric Swann
What made Swann special at the time was the fact he never played college football. He had played some semi-pro ball but it was practically unheard of for a player to play in the NFL without college experience. He did play community college ball but certainly that is at a different level.
Swann had 45.5 sacks as a member of the Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals. He was the 6th overall pick in the 1991 draft by the Cardinals. He spent most of his time as a defensive tackle but also played end at times. He was a lot like what Darnell Dockett turned out to be.
He never had a double-digit sack season in his career but his presence was always felt and his name was called a lot. He was in on a lot of tackles, especially for a defensive tackle. He had 70 tackles in 1992 and 60 in 1996. He spent all but one year of his career in Arizona. He spent his final season in 2000 with the Carolina Panthers.
Beat season as a Cardinal: In 1995, Swann had 8.5 sacks, 45 tackles and two fumble recoveries.
Best game as a Cardinal: Tough call. Swann had nine games with two sacks, which was the most in any game he played in. However it was a three-game stretch from November 14-28, 1999 that he seemed to show he still had it. On the 14th he had two sacks in a win over the Detroit Lions and two sacks on the 21st in a victory over the Dallas Cowboys and then one of only two career interceptions on the 28th in a victory over the New York Giants. He returned that interception 42 yards for his only NFL touchdown.
5. Calais Campbell
I mentioned how consistency was the key in this list. I’m not 100 percent certain consistency is in his vocabulary, although he’s close, but Calais Campbell could not be left off this list based on his production when you stack it up against the others.
Campbell, a second-round draft pick in 2008 out of Miami by the Cardinals, has been a beast at defensive end. Not only has he shown his talent on defense but a propensity to block field goals on special teams as well. He has a very long wing span with his arms.
Campbell will be the first to tell you he needs to play more consistently. He had a game against the Seattle Seahawks in 2014 where he was credited with three sacks but he easily should have had at least three more. That’s how dominant he was in the 19-3 loss last November.
Through his first seven seasons, Campbell has 43.5 sacks. He certainly may end up being the all-time sack leader in Arizona when it is all said and done for him.
Best game as a Cardinal: Back to the game on November 23, 2014 against Seattle with his three sacks and three near misses.
Best season as a Cardinal: In 2013, Campbell had nine sacks, 45 tackles, and two fumble recoveries.
Honorable mentions: Bertrand Berry, Freddie Joe Nunn, Karlos Dansby