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Right Combination Play: James Cowser Sacks Tyrod Taylor


One of the constants for the Oakland Raiders this season has been getting production from the team's undrafted free agent gems.

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From running back Jalen Richard, to guard Denver Kirkland, and defensive tackle Darius Latham, the Silver and Black have gotten a plethora of production from their UDFAs thus far in 2016.

Well, add another player to that list, as linebacker/defensive end James Cowser got his first defensive snaps of 2016 Sunday afternoon against the Buffalo Bills, and no doubt made the most of them, recording his first career sack with 10:37 left in the second quarter.

Cowser's takedown of Tyrod Taylor was one of four sacks the Raiders defense tallied in the 38-24 win, and with multiple players involved in securing the tackle, it is this week's Right Combination Play presented by State Farm.

Following his first NFL sack, the rookie broke down the play.


"With that specific play call, it's kind of basic for me. I'm just playing my man. I'm playing my keys off the tackle, just trying to get out there, and if he's running, I have to go attack him. If it's pass, I have to try to go make a good move on him."

As the play developed, Cowser made sure to keep an eye on Tyrod Taylor:

"I was trying to get the corner on him [tackle Jordan Mills], because I saw that he posted an inside early hand to help out with his guard – the tackle did at least – and then I came up, I saw the edge, and I saw Tyrod start to step up, so I countered back inside off him, and they just pushed him right in to my lap."

When playing against a mobile quarterback like Tyrod Taylor, awareness is key:

"Just kind of knowing general tendencies of guys, listening to your coaches. The coaches gave us good tips on him [Taylor]. We knew about his drops, and what he liked to do, so watching film, we just kind of had an overall feel for it, so when it happened, it was able to be second nature, instead of just thinking about. That's kind of when you get slow, is when you overthink things."

Securing his first career sack was definitely cause for celebration:

"I saw he [Taylor] had the ball out, and so I was thinking about trying to swipe at it too, but then he was kind of spinning, and moving a little bit, so I figured I might as well just secure the tackle, and then when he went down, I heard the crowd. It was kind of just like a 'whoa' moment. It felt really good. It was cool. It's exciting. I was just happy to contribute."

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