Dallas Cowboys’ Defensive Line Will Scare You


With the talent they have across their defensive line and the versatility they can deploy as well, the Dallas Cowboys’ defensive line will absolutely scare you.

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One of the main reasons why the Dallas Cowboys did not go farther than the Divisional Round last season was their inability to get a consistent pass rush on the quarterback. Anthony Spencer vastly underperformed and while they did have some talent, the reality was that they needed to bring in more players to fully upgrade this part of their team.

Knowing that, the Cowboys made one of the most polarizing, yet wise moves in the offseason by signing star pass-rusher, yet troubled Greg Hardy to a one-year deal. While Hardy will be suspended for a portion of the season, the reality is that the Cowboys can hold down the front until he returns and when he does indeed return, he’ll be playing meaningful football, as the Cowboys will have him back for late in the season and playoff games.

In the draft, the Cowboys were tempted to select Randy Gregory in the first round, as he would be that immediate-contributing defensive end they need. Instead, they upgraded their secondary by adding Byron Jones. In the second round, however, Gregory was once again available. Many had Gregory as a top-ten talent in this draft class and the Cowboys were able to nab him with the 60th overall pick. Absolutely unbelievable.

A foot injury sidelined him until November, but when Demarcus Lawrence came back, he immediately established himself as the Cowboys’ best pass-rushing option. At 6-foot-3, 270 pounds, Lawrence has ideal size for the Cowboys’ 4-3 defensive scheme. He has good length and he’s extremely explosive off the edge.

I said in the last paragraph that Lawrence established himself as the Cowboys’ best pass-rusher when he came back from injury. That truly is no knock on veteran Jeremy Mincey, who came out of nowhere and produced extremely well for the Cowboys. This was a guy that had been cut twice, but by working with defensive line guru Rod Marinelli, Mincey truly turned his career around. It should also be said that he’s still only 31 years old.

A defensive line is as good as the guys in the trenches. That said, the Cowboys have a ton of guys that can come in and contribute from the interior part of the defensive line. Tyrone Crawford was a stud in 2014 and he’s a guy that could take the NFL by storm in 2015, which will be the last year of his contract.

On top of Crawford, the Cowboys have a few promising, young players in Davon Coleman, Ken Bishop, and Chris Whaley. Coleman and Bishop particularly are guys who intrigue in 2015. Also, the Cowboys have a guy who showed a ton of ability when he was on the field in Terrell McClain. Nick Hayden will likely be the starter next to Crawford in the trenches, but I don’t expect him to be the starter by season’s end.

When it’s third down, teams look to bring in as many pass rushers as they can so they can not only limit the quarterback’s time in the pocket, but also make bait the quarterback into turning the ball over. That said, Dallas News’ Jon Machota reported this about the Cowboys’ defensive line:

OTAs are a time to test things and see how they work. That being said, this front may be extremely unorthodox, as Hardy has never played defensive tackle, but this look could ultimately give a ton of opponents headaches.

If you take a look at the past few years, Super Bowl-winning teams have always had a great pass rush. The Cowboys have Super Bowl aspirations and if they do indeed win a Super Bowl this upcoming season, a big reason why will be because of the star-studded defensive line they have.

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