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:
20 LINEMAN USED IN 2013
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.
9 DEFENSIVE ENDS
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.
7 DEFENSIVE TACKLES
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.
4 TOOK SNAPS AS A COWBOYS IN 2013
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.
2 ARE AT LEAST 30 YEARS OLD
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.