2013 Roster in Review: Defensive line

March, 3, 2014
3/03/14
11:15
AM ET
Starters: Calais Campbell, Dan Williams, Darnell Dockett

Backup: Ronald Talley, Alameda Ta’amu, Frostee Rucker

Under contract in 2014: Campbell, Williams, Dockett, Ta’amu.

Cash committed in ‘13: $20.85 million

Cap committed in ‘13: $20.21 million

Recap: Coming into 2013, the Cardinals’ front three were trying to avoid another embarrassment of a season. They were ranked 28th in the league against the run and wanted things to change. Well, they sure did. With the same three starters as in 2012, Arizona changed its gap scheme under first-year defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, giving the front three more freedom to attack. The result was the top-ranked defense against the run. Dockett came back last season focused and rejuvenated after an emotionally and mentally exhausting final couple of seasons under Ken Whisenhunt. Campbell’s re-dedication to getting in shape during the past offseason paid dividends. He had nine sacks and two fumble recoveries, and was being considered a star around the league. The defense also was bolstered by the early-season addition of Ta’amu, who was signed on Sept. 1 and started seeing significant action in Week 3 when Williams left the team to attend to the death of his father. For the rest of the season, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians used Williams and Ta’amu as a tandem at defensive tackle, saving their legs throughout the season which made them both more effective.

Josh Weinfuss

ESPN Arizona Cardinals reporter

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