The Dallas Cowboys decided to sign former Indianapolis Colts third-round pick Drake Nevis on Tuesday, and he figures to play a role on the Cowboys as a rotational pass-rushing defensive tackle. Nevis is a nice upgrade for the Cowboys as a backup DT, but he has had major issues defending the run to this point in his career and has never made good on his third-round draft stock.
That said, the Cowboys seem high on Nevis’s ability to help this defense in a backup role, and they believe that the Cowboys scheme fits Nevis’s talents best. It never seemed like Nevis fit the San Diego Chargers 3-4 scheme, so a change back to the 4-3 could help out Nevis; that’s also one of the things the Cowboys are banking on.
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said, via ESPN Dallas, “He’s one of those guys that demonstrated a lot of ability to come off the ball and explosiveness when he was in college. Oftentimes these defensive linemen get into systems that really suit them or maybe don’t suit them quite as much. We feel like playing in this scheme we can get him back to playing the way he played in college, coming off the ball, playing with good leverage and being a destructive force, both in the run game and pass game.”
Garrett is hoping that the 6’1″, 294 pound LSU product can play immediately and fill out a key role as a backup, but the Cowboys shouldn’t be counting on too much. Hopefully they can turn Nevis into a useful player, and he has enough talent to carve out a nice niche for himself in the Dallas Cowboys defense if all goes well.