The Dallas Cowboys have done a terrific job over the years of putting together a fierce defensive line. Jerry Jones and company have not been shy about bringing in players that will attack opposing offensive lines this season. The Dallas defensive line has undergone a transformation during the offseason. All of Cowboys’ nation has Super Bowl aspirations heading into the 2020 season and accomplishing the goal of playing on Super Bowl Sunday starts with a dominant defensive line.
Over the past few seasons, the Cowboys have utilized a bend but don’t break style of defense, which frustrated Cowboys’ fans immensely. Incoming Dallas defensive coordinator Mike Nolan is bringing to Dallas a more aggressive style of defense that is based on swarming to the opposing ball carrier. Mike Nolan brings with him new defensive line coach Jim Tomsula who will get to shape an impressive defensive line into an attacking force.
The Cowboys defensive line will take on a much more aggressive approach this season. Dallas will have left defensive end Demarcus Lawrence returning this season. Lawrence has racked up 15.5 sacks over the past two seasons and has the potential this season to make the opposing quarterback’s life on the field a nightmare.
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On the right side of the defensive line, the Cowboys have numerous options that can assume the starting position. Recent free agent signee Everson Griffen to see the majority of the snaps at the right edge spot. The former USC Trojan, Griffen racked up eight sacks last season for the Minnesota Vikings. He will have an opportunity to earn the starting right end position this season for the Cowboys. Aldon Smith will have an opportunity to earn some playing time on the edge as well. Rookie Bradlee Anae has the potential to earn some playing time as the Cowboys rotate players this season.
The defensive tackle position for the Cowboys is not as settled today as it was going into training camp. Gerald McCoy suffered a ruptured right quad tendon on Monday morning and is out for the remainder of the season. Dallas will now be leaning heavily on Dontari Poe, Neville Gallimore, and Tyrone Crawford to make up for production that is being lost without McCoy in the starting lineup. Trysten Hill will also have the opportunity to earn snaps that were going to be taken by McCoy. Gerald McCoy’s injury is a huge loss and it will be compelling to see who steps up for the Cowboys.
Even with the injury to McCoy, Cowboys’ fans can expect Poe to clog up the running lanes. However, Dallas still has the talent on the edges to cause trouble for opposing offenses. Injuries are a part of the game and the defense will have to take the philosophy of next man up. McCoy will start rehab and hopefully be back will and have a chance to suit up for the Cowboys next season. Meanwhile, the Dallas defensive line still has the potential to be one of the NFL’s best this season, Crawford, Gallimore, and Aldon Smith will just need to step up and help force the turnovers.