May 14, 2021

Dexter Manley congratulates Ryan Kerrigan, Washington’s new sack king

“I just thought the front four was sensational,” Manley said Tuesday on “The John Riggins Show” podcast, which was revived earlier this month after what Riggins said was a nine-year hiatus. “Ryan Kerrigan, he stepped up to the plate. I want to congratulate him. … He’s the sack guy. He’s the king now. I don’t like that too much.”

Manley was mostly joking about the last part, suggesting later in the show that individual records mean less to him than the two Super Bowl titles he helped bring to Washington from 1981 to 1989. Manley said he had some doubts about Kerrigan’s ability to line up with his hand in the dirt and get to the quarterback after Washington drafted him 16th overall in 2011, but he was proved wrong. Kerrigan has been both durable and effective, with his streak of 139 consecutive games played to start his career ending last November.

“It’s pretty wild to think about,” Kerrigan, who had two sacks against the Eagles to bring his career total to 92, said Monday when asked on 106.7 the Fan about breaking Manley’s record. “I didn’t know what to expect when I was drafted here in 2011. I wanted to come in and be a contributor, and now to be at the top of the sack list of the franchise’s history … to think about guys that have come through here, like Dexter, it’s pretty cool. Reflecting on it, it’s a pretty special feeling.”

Kerrigan, who on Wednesday was named NFC defensive player of the week for the first time, set the franchise sack record in his 141st game, 16 more than Manley played with Washington. His two sacks Sunday gave him 6.5 against Carson Wentz for his career, making Wentz his third-most frequent sack victim behind Eli Manning (11.5) and Dak Prescott (7). Kerrigan had an interception return for a touchdown against Manning and the New York Giants in his first game. Manley, who recovered from the novel coronavirus earlier this year, also happened to feast on a Giants quarterback more than any other, sacking Phil Simms 16.5 times with Washington.

Manley’s sack list includes NFL greats such as Joe Montana, Warren Moon and Dan Fouts, as well as New Orleans Saints backup Guido Merkens and eventual teammate Doug Williams. Kerrigan has sacks of future Hall of Famers Tom Brady and Drew Brees, as well as former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders on a failed trick play in 2012 and Washington backup quarterback Alex Smith when he was with the San Francisco 49ers. After Kerrigan’s only sack of Andrew Luck, the retired Indianapolis Colts quarterback told him, “Good hit, man!” Manley and Kerrigan, along with Diron Talbert, share Washington’s single-game record for sacks with four.

On Tuesday’s podcast, Riggins, while acknowledging his bias, said he would still pick Manley, his teammate for five seasons, over Washington’s new sack king.

“I go by horsepower, and Ryan’s got a certain amount of horsepower but he’s not a double-A fuel dragster,” Riggins said. “He’s just not. He’s a funny car compared to [Dexter]. … I always bow to horsepower, because horsepower will hurt you. The guy that tries real hard and fights his guts out, that’s for Joe Gibbs, that ain’t for me.”

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