With such few interior options on the roster, we may see the Dallas Cowboys get creative and move one of their defensive ends inside to the 3-tech. No, not Tyrone Crawford. The Cowboys have fully committed “Craw” to the edge. They even asked him to cut a significant amount of weight to fit the prototype better.
I’m talking about Kony Ealy. Ealy, signed by Dallas in early April, was added to provide insurance and depth on the edge. Since being drafted in the second round of the 2014 draft, Ealy has flashed skills on a somewhat inconsistent basis (hence his availability and affordability).
With DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford locked in as the starting bookends, and Taco Charlton, Dorance Armstrong, Charles Tapper and (probably) Randy Gregory pushing for snaps on the edge as well, the defensive end group is overstocked.
If Kony Ealy wants to get on the field, he may need to move to defensive tackle. As an under tackle, he’ll still be attacking the pocket, and his speed and quickness could make him a major mismatch inside.
Ealy has been one of the best defensive linemen in the league at batting down balls already (nine last season alone), a move inside should give him more passing lanes and more opportunities to disrupt the passing game.
Using Kony Ealy inside is as much about him as it is about developing the young edge rushers already on the roster. I predicted Ealy playing inside before Maliek Collins was injured and David Irving was suspended – now I don’t see any way around it.