3 Cowboys Defenders on Thin Ice With Mike Zimmer's New Personnel Plans

With a new defensive coordinator, these 3 Cowboys could be in trouble

Dallas Cowboys, Osa Odighizuwa
Dallas Cowboys, Osa Odighizuwa / Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Markquese Bell, LB/S

It's hard to come down on Markquese Bell because he really played well in 2023 despite being moved to a new role. A natural safety, Bell moved to linebacker when DeMarvion Overshown was lost due to injury. He was slated to play in this role in nickel formations but wound up being out there full-time when Leighton Vander Esch was lost for the season.

Bell finished with 94 tackles — after having just one in his career before that. He added three tackles for a loss, four pass defenses, and two forced fumbles as well. His coverage grade from PFF was excellent but the run defense left a little to be desired.

That proved to be one of the team's downfalls in the postseason and Jordan Love even told Micah Parsons on his podcast that the Packers targeted the run game due to a defensive back being in at linebacker. Bell, who is 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds isn't weak against the run for a safety but at linebacker, he doesn't have the power to hold up when a team runs the ball 25-30 times.

An ideal fit in the draft would be Texas A&M's Edgerrin Cooper. Standing 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds, Cooper plays with intensity and aggression. He also has excellent athleticism, which he proved during his drills — including a 4.51 in the 40-yard dash.