Who Will Win the Starting 1 Technique DT Spot?

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Aug 7, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) readies for the snap during the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys are frantically searching for answers along virtually every position of this defense. The defensive line may in fact be the most questioned unit of them all. Every spot on the D-line has been churned since last season and subsequently every spot is up for grabs.

One position in particular is especially in question –The 1 Technique defensive tackle.

Last week I broke down the meaning of “1 technique” and explained the position (techniques) all down the line. I also explained the importance of the position itself in the Rod Marinelli defense. Today we will take a moment to look at the candidates and even offer a glimmer of hope along the way.

To quickly recap, the 1 Tech DT is responsible for taking on both the center and the guard on a regular basis. He forces double teams and controls his gap at all costs.

The prototypical 1 technique DT is stout and powerful with a nonstop motor (think 6’0” – 6’3” range between 310-350 lbs.). He has a low center of gravity enabling him to play low and maintain leverage against double-teams.

Quickness off the snap is equally as important in Marinelli’s defense because the 1-tech often initiates contact and prevents opposing linemen from sealing a crease and/or breaking free and continuing up-field to block LBs.

In addition, Marinelli is not afraid to cut his 1 tech loose from time to time to pressure the QB and attack the backfield.

Basically, the 1 tech must do it all.

If you look at the Cowboys roster you will quickly see that no one really stands out as a prototypical DT. That doesn’t mean they can’t play the position, it just adds to the challenge of the position. I’ve identified the top 3 challengers to win the position here.

We will begin with the incumbent…

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