In his first season playing exclusively as a linebacker, Trent Cole has acquitted himself nicely. In fact, Pro Football Focus, which grades each play, ranked Cole as the top run defender among 3-4 outside linebackers and as the fifth-best player at his position in the entire league through the first 10 weeks of the season.
However, Cole has not filled up the stat sheet, especially in the one category which helped him earn his nickname - The Hunter. Cole entered Sunday's game with one sack. He's had four seasons with double-digit sacks and ranks third in franchise history.
Well, Cole had his breakthrough performance of the year - from a sack standpoint - with two takedowns of Robert Griffin III. It was his 17th career multi-sack performance and his first since December 2011 in Miami.
"I know everybody is tracking Trent with his number of sacks, but it's not how we track it," said defensive coordinator Bill Davis after the game. "We know all season that Trent has had that consistent pressure and put stress on the quarterback and tackles he's going against. It's nice to see him get rewarded with the final sacks, but that's not how we judge him. This game doesn't change how we look at Trent just because he had two sacks. We are very happy with Trent."
Cole now has 74 career sacks, which is just 2.5 behind defensive end Clyde Simmons for second in franchise history.
Griffin III is the 44th quarterback Cole has sacked in his career and the 15th he's brought down at least twice.