Dallas Cowboys: 5 ways to generate more interior pressure on defense

Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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dallas cowboys
: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports /

How the Dallas Cowboys generate more interior pressure

No. 3: The new under tackle

When the Dallas Cowboys drafted Osa Odighizuwa at Pick 75 they had one big role in mind: the 3-tech. The 3-technique under tackle is the primary interior lineman who’s tasked with creating pressure. His counterpart, the 1-tech, is more of a space-eater. The success or failure of a team’s ability to generate interior pressure is almost exclusively placed at the feet of that under tackle DT.

Perhaps that’s why the Dallas Cowboys used such a premium draft pick on the position.

Osa Odighizuwa, together with Neville Gallimore, are expected to be the two-man rotation at 3-tech in 2021. It’s not the ideal situation to have but it’s markedly better than last year when Dallas was forced to lean on Trysten Hill for their pressure (until he was hurt).

When Gallimore moved to 3-tech last season, his game improved tremendously. That will hopefully provide him something to build on in year 2.

Osa Odighizuwa stands to upgrade the position the most here in 2021. The 6-foot-2, 279lbs DT is blessed with superhero strength, abnormally long arms (34 inches) and an explosive first step. He’s a master in balance and leverage (likely aided by his extensive wrestling experience) and even when he wasn’t able to shoot the gap, he was consistently able to push the pocket.

PFF gave him an 89.7 grade in true pass-rush situations and bulk of that came in the B-gap (268 snaps). Osa’s college pass rush win rate of 14% combined with Gallimore’s college PRWR of 18.9% translate well to the NFL and since both players are moving to a more  playmaker-friendly scheme in Dallas, both are expected to make better pros than they were college players.

We can’t expect greatness from the two young players but we should expect considerable improvement inside because of them.