3 edge rushers who can step up for the Cardinals in 2021

Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) Dennis Gardeck
Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) Dennis Gardeck /
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Arizona Cardinals
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) Dennis Gardeck /

Dennis Gardeck

Dennis Gardeck proved to be an ideal pass-rush specialist in 2020. Before then, the small-school product had made a living as a special teams ace. You may scoff at Gardeck’s overall performance and state that he only recorded a sack in four different games in 2020.

And you’re right. However, Gardeck recorded multiple sacks in three of those four games. We must also remember Gardeck played over 20 percent of the defensive snaps in a contest just once last season when he encroached the 30 percent mark against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 15.

During his Week 15 outing, Gardeck recorded two sacks, five tackles (two for a loss), and two quarterback hits. It was an encore performance to what he accomplished in Week 14 against the New York Giants when both of his recorded tackles went for a loss to go with another two sacks and two quarterback hits.

Want more fun? Gardeck only played eight defensive snaps for the Cardinals in that Week 14 matchup with the Giants.

Talk about making the most of one’s chances. Gardeck has more than proven his worth as a pass-rush specialist, and he’d be an excellent replacement for Chandler Jones in 2021 if the latter holds out.