The Dallas Cowboys defensive line has picked up a new nickname. THE HOT BOYS. This might be the best line the team has seen in a long time. With the talent and depth of this position group, these hot boys plan on bringing plenty of heat to opposing offenses.
The hot boys ( rap group consisting of Lil Wayne, Juvenile, B.G., and Turk) had a song called “Boys at War”. That’s just what the Dallas’ version of the hot boys plan to be. Opposing offensive lines will have to prepare for wave after wave of an onslaught of Cowboy pass rushers.
Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli likes to use a rotation to keep his defensive line fresh and keep constant pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The team finally has enough talent consisting of veterans and younger players to keep sending in reinforcements throughout the game.
DeMarcus Lawrence – “Tank” finally had his breakout in his fourth season finishing with 14.5 sacks. After signing the franchise tag he will have even more motivation to earn that next contract if he kills it again like he did last season. Also playing stellar against the run, Tank is one of the best defensive ends in the league and at 26, is just now hitting his prime.
Tyrone Crawford – Crawford is the veteran of the group, while he may not be flashy, his motor never stops and he’s always where he needs to be. He had the third highest grade on defense from pro football focus with an 82.0 right behind Sean Lee’s 82.1. Crawford got better as the year wore on finishing with 37 hurries and 4 sacks.
Taco Charlton – Taco was the 28th overall pick in last years draft for a reason. While he didn’t get much playing time at first, he seemed to figure things out later in the season. After only 5 tackles and zero sacks through the first seven games, Taco finished with 14 tackles and 3 sacks in the last 9 contest while generating much more pass rush juice. Taco has been getting a lot of buzz from training camp as he’s added muscle to his 6-6 frame and looks much more comfortable in year two.
Antwaun Woods – If you haven’t heard of this man yet, you will. Woods has been a monster in training camp as he looks likely to win a starting job at defensive tackle. Woods was all over the field in the Cowboys first preseason game confirming all the hype coming out of Oxnard. His burst and heavy hands are a welcomed addition to a deep group on the interior.
Maliek Collins – While he hasn’t missed a game yet in his two-year career, Collins has had to consistently fight through injuries. Once again this offseason, the injury bug bit as he went down with a broken foot. After missing some time in camp and now healthy, he has just been reactivated and is ready to roll. Even while playing out of position, Collins has a solid 7 sacks in his first two years and at 23 years old he is just scratching the surface of his potential.
Randy Gregory – Gregory is an athletic specimen that is rarely seen, even in the NFL. His first step off the ball and closing speed are elite by anyone’s standards. Gregory has been reinstated and looks to put his talents on display once again. Once seen as a top 10 talent in the draft, this hot boy will bring even more heat off the edge for the defensive line.
Jihad Ward – The Cowboys traded Ryan Switzer (a recent 4th round pick) for Ward during the NFL draft. Ward himself was a high draft pick going 44th overall just a couple of years ago. Marinelli was really high on Ward and looks to work his magic on the gifted tackle. At 6-5 295 pounds Ward is still only 24 and looks to break out this season.
David Irving – Irving was suspended the first four games last season, but he still went on to have 7 sacks in only 8 games. That’s best sack ratio in the league for defensive tackles. Although he’s suspended again for the first four games, there’s no denying his talents once he gets onto the field. With his position flexibility and Pro Bowl talent, Irving could be the difference in the line being really good and really great.
Dorance Armstrong – The rookie 4th round pick has a nice get off and can rush the passer. He slid in the draft due to playing out of position and watching his sacks fall because of that. As a sophomore where he could pin his ears back and go get the quarterback, he totaled 56 tackles, 20 for a loss, 3 forced fumbles and 10 sacks while earning first-team All-Big Twelve honors.
The hot boys run deep too with Kony Ealy, Datone Jones, Charles Tapper, and Richard Ash. As a matter of fact, there is so much depth somebody may not make the team, but that is a good problem to have. Lil Wayne and Juvenile were pretty bad in their day, but the Dallas Cowboys defensive line is the new hot boys and they’re coming in hot.
Now you know Broe @broeham