Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys Defensive Line by the Numbers

The old adage goes, “Competition breeds success.” Well, the Dallas Cowboys defensive line has will have plenty of competition in Oxnard this summer. Currently, the Cowboys have 16 defensive linemen (tackles and ends included) on their roster. Here are the players by the numbers:


Throughout the 2013 season the Dallas Cowboys used 20 lineman to fill the gaps. The defense was rattled with injuries to DeMarcus Ware, Anthony Spencer, and Tyrone Crawford. On top of that, the inexperience of those on hand forced the coaching staff to to scour the NFL’s practice squad’s to find available bodies to fill the holes. Now that Jason Hatcher is gone, there is yet another void in the line.


With the loss of Ware and Spencer, both spots are up for grabs on the edge. Stephen Jones said as recently as yesterday that he would not be surprised if Spencer began the season on the PUP list. Look for Henry Melton and Crawford to be the early front runners to start going into training camp.


This week the Cowboys signed 26 year-old Amobi Okoye off the scrap heap to try and add depth to their rotation. The former top 10 pick for the Texans did not play in the NFL last year so his abilities are in question, but is worth taking a flyer on. Between he and Nick Hayden, Ben Bass, Ken Bishop, Davon Coleman, Nick Hayden, Terrell McClain and Chris Whaley, there are no clear cut starters so the battle for DL will be one of the most heated come July.


In last week’s draft, the Cowboys took three defensive lineman. While most of the fan base would liked to have seen Jerry use their first pick at DL, they did use their 34th (Lawrence), 231st (Gardner), and 251st (Bishop) picks for their trenches.  Coleman and Whaley were signed as undrafted free agents.


Which defensive lineman, currently on the roster took the most snaps as a Cowboys last year? You guessed it: Nick Hayden at 821. He is followed by George Selvie with 744, Caesar Rayford with 144, and Anthony Spencer with 34. The Cowboys lost a lot of experience since the end of last season, but with Rod Marinelli’s rotation system in place it may prove to be more beneficial to have a constant stable of fresh legs.


It looks like the Cowboys might finally be initiating a youth movement on their team, it is not more apparent than on both sides of the line. With the loss of Jason Hatcher and Ware, the only defensive lineman left who are 30 or older are Spencer and Jeremy Mincey.


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Tags: Dallas Cowboys

  • JoeDaBeast

    Youth is good. I’m not fully worried about who the Cowboys are putting on the field.

    Much better write-up than I have seen over at the #landryhat too!!!!!

  • Earl Robertson

    I hope this head scout will get promoted to GM, Jerry needs to make the move even though I know the idiot will still be the final say I just don’t want to lose this guy I like how they are finally building a team

  • SmartThinking

    Marinelli, Linehan and Callahan and the other coaches need to cull the dead wood from this bunch quickly and get about the business of winning. How many 7th rounders make teams anyway? Dallas doesn’t have the luxury this season of spending lots of time trying out guys who can’t or won’t play exceedingly well. They need to focus their full attention with the players who’ll play rather than a bunch of camp bodies.

    Dallas should give Spencer one more chance before the season starts and if he can’t produce during the pre-season games, dump him. He’s cost too much money and valuable time to mess with any longer. Under Marinelli’s hand, Selvie has seen his chance to beat Spencer and will go at opposing QB’s full bore this year. Expect 8-10 sacks from him.

    The coaches need to cull all these S’s down to the best and brightest and do it fast. If it’s Wilcox, great. Whoever plays beside Church needs to be set in place early so the two can get comfortable.

    Dallas bringing in all these other team’s rejects for dirt cheap prices — Weeden, Haney, the Cardinal’s RB, the Texans’ DT, etc., every one of these guys has significant flaws that waste valuable coaching time they should be spending on legitimate players who’ll make this team. The RB, Ryan acquisition makes no sense. The LSU FB, Copeland, in camp is a genuine full load once he gets the ball and gets going and I really hope this guy makes this team. We’ve needed a bulldozer FB for ten years. Also, the A&M RB is a stud as well. Both are a lot better than Ryan. The Texans’ former DT, Oloooongymen, or whatever his name is,
    probably won’t make it either. What kind of “unspecified medical condition” did he/does he have anyway? Is it catching?