Dallas Cowboys Defensive Ends: Start, Bench, Cut

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - JANUARY 05: (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - JANUARY 05: (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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Kerry Hyder

The Opening Argument:

The 6’2″, 280 lb defensive end went undrafted out of Texas Tech in 2014. He immediately signed with the Jets practice squad. The following season he cracked the 53 man roster in Detroit. While he made the Detroit roster in 2015, Hyder only found consistent playing in 2016. While playing 16 games, Hyder posted:

36 Tackles (23 Solo,13 Ast), 8.0 Sacks, 11 Tackles For Loss, 19 QB Hits 

The production is more impressive considering Hyder only started two games that season. After an encouraging third season, Hyder tore his achilles in his first preseason game effectively ending his 2017 season. This consequently was the last season of Jim Caldwell’s career as the Detroit Lions coach.

In comes Matt Patricia, a protege of the great Bill Belicheck. The defensive expert decides to implement his 3-4 defense resulting in bad news for Hyder. Hyder moved inside to defensive tackle and couldn’t find consistency in playing time or production. Alas, Hyder has now arrived in Dallas.

What is the profile on Hyder?


He’s quite the “thicc boi”, and the good type of thicc. At 6’2″ with only 33 1/8″ arms, Hyder doesn’t possess length the Cowboys and other teams drool over in defensive ends. In exchange for average height and length, Hyder is really strong at the point of contact.

Hyder is exclusively a bull rusher. It’s rare to find him doing anything else, but he’s rather effective. He consistently demonstrated the ability to direct an offensive lineman one direction and later turn the opposite direction in order to make the sack or tackle for loss. He did so while lined up on the strong and weak side in several different positions.

Hyder’s work ethic has brought him success and expect for him to continue to build on his career. Dominating in a conference that supposedly has “the worst defense,” Hyder has been productive enough to warrant consideration for serious reps. The attitude and work ethic is something defensive lines feed off.

The Rebuttal:

In the strengths I mentioned Hyder is predominantly a bull rusher. His lack of creativity in his rushing will make him a situational pass rusher. He’s an average to below average run stopper for his size and he doesn’t display any unique burst. While he’s a fluid mover, his lack of technique doesn’t optimize this part of his athleticism.

His experience in the league is a pro and a con. He’s much older than the other two ends hence if the Cowboys don’t feel he’s better than the other two he becomes a relatively easy casualty on the 53 man roster.


All three of these defensive ends will most likely not be starting, hence they should provide a unique skill set or display some production in the past that would warrant a premium roster spot. (The idea that you can never have to many pass rushers conflicting with a 53 man roster cap makes all edge rushing spots a premium)

Hyder is a productive pass rusher when given the opportunity even if he’s limited in his creativity and run stopping. He possesses positional flexibility to play across the line. Rod Marinelli loves these types of players, Tyrone Crawford being the prime example.