Dallas Cowboys Draft: Position by position breakdown (defense)

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dallas Cowboys
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Dallas Cowboys Linebackers

It appears Leighton Vander Esch and will be the Cowboys’ starters at that position, given Vander Esch’s re-signing. Regrettably, there is not a lot of depth.

No.3 on the list is Jabril Cox. He was limited to three percent of the defensive snaps last season. No. 4 on the list is Devin Harper with no defensive snaps in 2022.

Dallas must find another linebacker specifically for special teams because of Luke Gifford, the Cowboys’ most-used special teams player in the previous two years, signing with the Tennessee Titans.

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell‘s athleticism, intangibles and instincts will help him  at the next level in the NFL. He is talented enough to be in the running for sub-package opportunities as a rookie in the NFL.

He can be a great understudy to Vander Esch, but he is also fully capable of starting if needed.  He stands at an impressive 6’5″ and has a weight of 243 pounds. The Cowboys appreciate linebackers that have the ideal size and length. Big and lengthy.

The speed and alertness Campbell shows when tackling the run and the covering the pass is extraordinary, and he works hard to get the most out of all of his abilities.

In 2022, Jack Campbell prove he is a massive tackling machine. He notched 125 tackles, a sack, two interceptions, three pass deflections, and one forced fumble during the season.

Trenton Simpson

Trenton Simpson is an impressive athlete with excellent size and speed, his physicality allows him to work off blockers and his short-area burst and acceleration make it seem like he is playing at a different gear than the rest of the pursuit.

Simpson is an aggressive defender, with the speed and appetite for contact to take on multiple roles.

He is most effective in a quick-paced defensive system where he can act as a run and pass defender and take on responsibility for covering the outside.

Durrell Johnson

Durrell Johnson is an agile edge rusher with a tall, slender build, that possesses the speed to beat blockers to the play before it has even begun.

His overly rely on his initial quickness when rushing the ball can be a detriment, but his speed could be a great asset with the right amount of strength and conditioning.

He is a highly productive player whose best football is ahead of him.

During his senior year of 2022, he participated in thirteen games, with a total of 58 tackles, 27.5 of them being tackles for loss (which was the most on the team), nine sacks (the highest on the team), one interception, three fumble recoveries, and one forced fumble.

Derick Hall

Derick Hall is an aggressive, determined pass rusher with a good sense of linear athleticism and power in his hands. Measuring 6’3″ and weighing 254 pounds, he is a strong, solid, and well-balanced edge defender.

Despite his size, he has unique proportions, and his arms are almost 35 inches in length. His skill set is similar to Cliff Avril – who thrive in the ‘LEO’ role in Seattle.

He plays with violence in his heart. Even at his size he can defend the run in space.

Across four seasons, Hall has accumulated 84 pressures, 27 QB hits, and 22 sacks. He has achieved a great deal during his college career. Hall was appointed as a team captain for the 2022 season.