Dallas Cowboys: Taking a Look at Defensive Tackle


While they have question marks over their inexperience, the Dallas Cowboys have some talent to work with at the defensive tackle position.

Many thought that the Dallas Cowboys would target a defensive tackle early in the 2015 NFL Draft. Throughout mock drafts across the web, Texas’ Malcom Brown, whose now on the New England Patriots, and Florida State’s Eddie Goldman, whose now on the Chicago Bears, were hot picks for the Cowboys.

Instead, the Cowboys bypassed the defensive tackle position and upgraded their secondary. In fact, the Cowboys didn’t even draft a defensive tackle in any round in the draft. Without futher ado, let’s take a look at the Cowboys’ projected depth chart for the defensive tackle position.

1. Tyrone Crawford

The lone star in this positional group, Crawford may not be a household name, but as Cowboys fans saw in 2014, he’s a guy that’s a difference-maker in the trenches. Unfortunately, league success is based off statistics and Crawford didn’t exactly have the best numbers in 2014. But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t an importance piece to the Cowboys’ line. With a more talented group off the edge, expect Crawford to become a league-known name in 2015.

2. Nick Hayden

Despite his ineffectiveness, the Cowboys decided to bring back Hayden. I’m not a fan of Hayden at all, but the reality is that he’s a favorite of Rod Marinelli and he provides some positional versatility, which is something the Cowboys’ coaching staff loves. Hayden leaves a lot to be desired from a pass-rushing perspective, but he’s not that bad of a player in terms of stopping the run.

3. Terrell McClain

The Cowboys signed McClain before the 2014 season and while it wasn’t a glamour pick, it was the typical “give this guy a second chance” type of move. McClain is extremely quick off the football. He does a good job at getting skinny in between offensive line. He isn’t that strong, so he’s not great against the run, but he’s a good option for a pass-rushing defensive tackle. I’d like to see the Cowboys use him more in 2015.

4. Davon Coleman

The prized undrafted free agent around this time last year, Coleman had a year of ups and downs. In the beginning of the year, it looked like he would be very much in the rotation and becoming a solid depth-purposes type of player for the Cowboys. However, he was a liability against the run and he did not have the ideal strength to compete with Hayden. Nevertheless, the coaching staff is high on Coleman. He’ll be a guy to watch in 2015.

5. Ken Bishop

A seventh-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Bishop was a bit of a project for the Cowboys. Towards the end of the year, especially in the playoffs, Bishop took a ton of snaps in the defensive tackle committee. Bishop is the typical quick-twitch type of defensive tackle. He has the ability to play multiple positions across the defensive line.

6. Chris Whaley

A knee injury killed his draft stock before last year’s draft, but signing Whaley in the undrafted free agency period was a bit of an intriguing move. Whaley was a bit of a stash move by the Cowboys, as he stayed most of the year on the practice squad. Nevertheless, Whaley will duel it out with Bishop and Coleman for a spot on the final 53-man roster.

I don’t expect the Cowboys to keep six defensive tackles. By the looks of it now, Crawford will start at the 3-technique defensive tackle position and Hayden will start at the 1-technique defensive tackle position with McClain coming in for pass-rushing situations.

The Cowboys revamped their edge rushers this offseason with the additions of Greg Hardy and Randy Gregory. That said, if the Cowboys can get consistent pressure from their interior defensive linemen, their defense could be in for a huge season.

Next: Dallas Cowboys' Triangle of Terror

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