Anybody that watched the Dallas Cowboys lose to the Green Bay Packers last Sunday saw that the Cowboys need help rushing the passer. Aaron Rogers had an injured calf that limited his mobility greatly and the Cowboys were only able to sack him 2 times in 35 pass attempts.
Throughout the regular season the Cowboys got consistent good pass rush most of the season with freeThe signing of Henry Melton proved to be a big success for the Cowboys.
agent addition Jeremy Mincey leading the team with 6 sacks. Another free agent addition last offseason was defensive tackle Henry Melton, who was second on the team in sacks with 5 in only 11 games and was unable to play versus the Packers due to injury. Tweener Tyrone Crawford can play both end and tackle seemed to find a home at tackle, but he was ineffective versus the Packers as he had played 48 snaps with no sacks or tackles.
Check out the article I wrote about the free agent signings of Mincey and Melton back in March: Is The Sky Falling in Dallas?
The Cowboys defense finished 26th in the NFL versus the pass, 28th in the NFL in sacks, and 7th in the NFL in interceptions. These three stats tell me that the Cowboys must improve their sack production.
I really feel that DeMarcus Lawrence will have a good season next year after missing half of this season with injury. He showed some flashes, especially in the wild card playoff game versus Detroit. He showed that he can put pressure on the quarterback and make big plays in big games. It was confusing to me as to why Lawrence only played 23 snaps versus Green Bay and he did register a sack.
So next season the Cowboys defensive line should feature Mincey and Lawrence at defensive end, withJeremy Mincey finished with 6 sacks this season. He led the Cowboys in sacks.
Melton at one defensive tackle along with Crawford at the other defensive tackle spot. Nick Hayden is a free agent as of right now, but should come back to the Cowboys is they chose to sign him, but he is not a pass rusher by any stretch of the imagination. He is a hole plugging, high motor role player. Josh Brent and Ken Bishop are also hole pluggers, but not pass rushers.
Mel Kiper Mock Draft
In the Mel Kiper Mock Draft, he predicts that the Cowboys should draft Oklahoma defensive tackleMel Kiper Mock Draft: Cowboys Select Oklahoma DT Phillips
Jordan Phillips. Here is Kiper's analysis of Phillips:
"The Dallas defensive line held up reasonably well this season with merely OK talent, but a lot of that had to do with how much the efficient offense was able to keep it off the field and fresh. The unit isn't going to simply get better unless it adds more talent. Phillips is still pretty raw, but he's got tremendous upside. At 6-foot-6, when you see him run you can barely fathom that he's carrying more than 330 pounds. Put a kid like this under the tutelage of Rod Marinelli and you could end up with something truly special. Dallas needs to prioritize defense in this draft after getting the offense where it needs to be, and Phillips is a reasonable upside play."
I do agree with Kiper in that the Cowboys must add more talent to the defensive line, but I don't believe that Phillips is as good as Kiper does. Phillips does have great size, but he only runs about a 5.3 forty and that is too slow to be a consistent pass rusher in the NFL. He needs to lose about 30 pounds and get faster to where his 40 time is down around 4.9. Until he does that he will only be a 1st and 2nd down player along with short yardage plays.
At Phillips' current size and speed he would be a better fit in a 3-4 scheme like Oklahoma plays and be a two gap player, covering both A gaps. That is not the scheme that the Cowboys play. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli has stated that he wants defensive linemen up the field getting penetration.
As of right now I believe the Cowboys should take Ohio State defensive tackle Michael Bennett. Bennett is a tad bit undersized for a 4-3 defensive tackle in the NFL at 6.2 288 pounds, but has been clocked as low as a 4.85 in the forty yard dash. According to Bill Parcells the prototype size for a 4-3 defensive tackle is 6.3 302 pounds and run a 4.98 forty.
Bennett is maybe 10 pounds underweight, but has better than prototype speed. With the way the NFL is such a passing league it is more important to have the speed than the size in my opinion. There are just not that many teams in the NFL that run the football consistently. Plus Bennett appears to have a very strong upper body and can get offensive linemen off of him. I will be very interested to see how many 225 pound bench press reps he will be able to do.
This season Bennett finished with 41 tackles, 14 tackles for loss with 7 sacks, 3 passes broken up, 3 quarterback hurries and 3 forced fumbles. He has a great motor, has very good strength and quickness and can make plays all along the line of scrimmage.
Changes That Could Impact This Selection
- Whatever happens with DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant
- If the Cowboys decide to cut Brandon Carr because of his big 2015 salary cap hit, which I believe they should cut him.
- If they lose starting outside linebacker Bruce Carter or Justin Durant
- If they lose starting right tackle Doug Free to free agency, because back up right tackle Jeremy Parnell is also an unrestricted free agent
What do you think??