Workouts are going on with the Dallas Cowboys as they prepare for the 2018 season. The team isn’t done adding pieces and it’s common for them to bring in veteran players late in the offseason as they move towards training camp in a few months.
One position in particular looks like the Cowboys will continue their pursuit of talent. After learning about Maliek Collins breaking his foot in workouts and bringing in Terrell McClain, it’s obvious they are still trying to find help at defensive tackle. It’s also one of the positions Dallas didn’t address enough in the draft.
The Cowboys have David Irving and Collins penciled in as their starters, but there doesn’t seem to be the necessary depth behind them. Brian Price and Richard Ash each contributed last season, but neither is the kind of player you want to play starters snaps.
Dallas traded for Jihad Ward to play inside instead of outside where the Oakland Raiders used him the majority of the time. The hope is Rod Marinelli can get the most out of the former second-round pick. It’s tough to tell where he fits in this defense because we haven’t seen him in it yet, however, Ward seems like a guy the Cowboys actively try to acquire, so time will tell how bold of a move the team made.
The forgotten man seems to be Datone Jones, who the Cowboys picked up late in the 2017 season. Jones began his playing career at defensive end but wound up playing tackle for the Cowboys, where he picked up a sack against the Philadelphia Eagles. The team seems to like what he brings on the inside and Jones appears to be working hard to stick around with the Cowboys after bouncing around with four teams in his first five years in the NFL. The former first-round pick has a chance to carve out a role with Dallas.
That’s about as far as the depth at defensive tackle goes with the Cowboys. They could use Tyrone Crawford inside if they had to, but it appears like they have moved him outside for good. This is why the Cowboys were sniffing around McClain and why Collins’ injury has them scrambling, there just isn’t enough talent at the position. Throw in a possible Irving suspension because of a domestic violence accusation and the Cowboys need more talent at defensive tackle.
Time is running out to add anyone of significance and now any veteran presence would be a welcomed addition. If Irving, Collins, and Jones or Ward can hold up their end of the bargain and perform, the unit will be fine. But professional football is a game of attrition and injuries happen, the Cowboys don’t look like they have enough good players inside.
Expect Dallas to add another defensive tackle before training camp begins. The Maliek Collins injury has placed a spotlight on the position and the team knows it cannot go into the season with this group.
There is still time to add a defensive tackle and perhaps a player or two outplays our expectations, but right now it looks like the Dallas Cowboys have work to do.
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