Dallas Cowboys: Yes, be excited about rookie DT Quinton Bohanna

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Kentucky Football Mississippi State /

For years fans have been begging the Dallas Cowboys to invest in the 1-technique defensive tackle position. And for years the Cowboys have turned up their nose at the proposition. So when the Dallas Cowboys selected roadblock Quinton Bohanna with the192nd pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, fans rejoiced.

It’s not often a sixth round defensive tackle sparks such celebration, but this is no ordinary defensive tackle and frankly, Cowboys Nation is an excitable bunch who have waited a long time for this.

Dallas Cowboys fans should be excited about Quinton Bohanna while keeping realistic expectations.

Quinton Bohanna was a sixth round pick for a reason. Statistically, he achieves very little. Despite starting the better part of four seasons at Kentucky, Bohanna has only accumulated 25 solo tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks. Even as a NT those are paltry numbers.

But it’s what he does for those around him that make him so valuable. Bohanna is a guy who controls the line and occupies blockers. He does the tough work that allows others to make the plays. This is something that was desperately missing from the Cowboys last season when Dallas was the second worst run-defense in the NFL.

The Dallas Cowboys linebackers have been almost impossible to fairly evaluate. With such poor defensive line play in front of them, they were handed impossible situations. It’s not surprising they started to shy away from taking on blocks, abandoned their gap responsibilities, and started to free lance.

If the Dallas Cowboys can put up some consistent play again on the defensive line, the linebackers behind them should automatically improve. A trickledown effect we’ve spoken of repeatedly this offseason.

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But most of that consistent play at DT will have to come from expected 1-tech starter, Brent Urban. Urban was PFF’s third rated run-stopping DT last season and will be expected to lead the rotation inside as Bohanna develops.

While Bohanna has an impressive first step off the line, he’s not the consistent performer the Dallas Cowboys need right now. He has the upper body strength and quickness to be a dominant force, but his leverage can get sloppy and he often plays high, allowing lesser players an advantage.

He’s not a clear plug-and-play lineman, and looking back at the past few drafts, very few rookie D-linemen are. What’s going to work heavily in his favor is his tremendous reach and powerful hands.

His selection in the draft speaks to the Dallas Cowboys desire to employ more legit 2-gap run stuffers on the roster. And the release of Antwaun Woods speaks to their confidence in Bohanna.

Cowboys fans should be excited about his presence and should expect snaps early in his career. What we shouldn’t expect is highlight plays or immediate dominance. Bohanna will flash elite strength and some surprising quickness off the snap, but he isn’t a consistent performer yet and will have to correct his discipline and technique (he plays high a little too often) before he can reach that level.

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Cowboys Nation needs to be excited about Quinton Bohanna but let’s keep expectations realistic.

  • Published on 05/11/2021 at 16:01 PM
  • Last updated at 05/11/2021 at 14:07 PM