3 Reasons the Dallas Cowboys need a veteran interior run-stopper

Damon Harrison #98 (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Damon Harrison #98 (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /
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Jaylon Smith #54 and Leighton Vander Esch #55 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

They free up play-makers

An investment in a nose tackle is an investment in your linebackers. Considering how much the Dallas Cowboys have invested in their linebackers already, they’d be wise to protect them. Big nose tackles protect play-making linebackers. They occupy blockers and allow the MIKE and WILL to run free and make highlight plays.

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The Dallas Cowboys have two, potentially elite, play-makers at linebacker in Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. Both players underperformed in 2019, and seeing the beating they took from opposing offensive lines, it’s easy to see why. If Dallas can keep them clean and free to roam, they could be a dominant force on this Cowboys defense once again. If not, the investment in linebacker will be a waste.

It’s not just about linebackers, though.  It’s also about linemates. Having a reliable lineman next to you allows you to focus on your specific task at hand. So once again, adding reliable play inside frees the playmakers. On the D-line that means DeMarcus Lawrence and Gerald McCoy.

Lawrence and McCoy are expected to be regular pressure players for the Dallas Cowboys defense next year. They can’t be wondering if the man next to them is handling his business. They need to play focused on one thing: crashing the pocket.

We focus so much on the guys making the big plays we seem to forget about who makes it all possible. The 1-tech/NT is the ultimate big-play enabler.

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Let’s hope the Dallas Cowboys address this position ASAP because it has a big effect on many different aspects of the game.