Dallas Cowboys: 3 Rookies that could start in Week 1

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 25: Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones celebrates with John Ridgeway #99 of the Arkansas Razorbacks following the teams 20-10 win over the Texas A&M Aggies in the Southwest Classic at AT&T Stadium on September 25, 2021 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 25: Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones celebrates with John Ridgeway #99 of the Arkansas Razorbacks following the teams 20-10 win over the Texas A&M Aggies in the Southwest Classic at AT&T Stadium on September 25, 2021 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) /
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Sep 25, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks defensive lineman Eric Thomas Jr. (37) and defensive lineman John Ridgeway (99) and linebacker Grant Morgan (31) hold up the Southwest Classic trophy as they celebrate the win over the Texas A&M Aggies at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Dallas Cowboys possible rookie starter No. 1: John Ridgeway, DT

One thing the Dallas Cowboys haven’t done in recent years is find a big run-stuffing defensive tackle. They have done fine with guys such as Carlos Watkins in the 1-tech, but at 6-foot-3 and 300-pounds, he looks like the same type of player they have been plugging in that role year after year.

This season, that could change. John Ridgeway from Arkansas was drafted in the fifth round this season and it wouldn’t be a shock to see him shoot his way up the depth chart.

Ridgeway is the prototypical nose tackle at 6-foot-5 and 321-pounds. He won’t offer much in the passing game but on early downs, this is a kid who can be violent and disruptive. He has incredibly long arms and plays like a wrestler when on the field.

In his final season, he recorded 39 tackles with four going for a loss and had two sacks. But again, his game won’t be getting into the backfield and causing issues. Instead, he’s a bully who won’t be moved and can force teams to try and get to the outside in the running game.

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With the lack of such a player in Dallas, Ridgeway could end up becoming a fan-favorite while also finding himself in a position to be the starting 1-technique from the start.