Monday, April 28, 2014
Re-setting Cowboys D-line
By Todd Archer
IRVING, Texas -- With Anthony Spencer re-signing over the weekend, the Dallas Cowboys now have 12 defensive linemen on their current roster.
Is that enough?
Probably not. And as explained on Saturday, the Spencer deal should not preclude the Cowboys from going after more defensive linemen in the draft.
Let’s reset the Cowboys defensive line:
Ben Bass: Signed through 2014 -- A restricted free agent after the season, has to show he can stay healthy.
Tyrone Crawford: Signed through 2015 -- Coming off torn Achilles, but expected to be main contributor this season.
Nick Hayden: Signed through 2014 -- An unrestricted free agent after the season, he was a starter last year and had some moments.
Frank Kearse: Signed through 2015 -- A late-season addition in 2013, more of a depth player.
Terrell McClain: Signed through 2016 -- A free-agent pickup, he could take over the one technique spot this year from Hayden.
Henry Melton: Signed through 2014 -- Team holds a three-year option on his deal that would guarantee him $9 million. The key free-agent signing.
George Selvie: Signed through 2014 -- A revelation last year with seven sacks, he will be counted on more in 2014. He is an unrestricted free agent after the season.
Anthony Spencer: Signed through 2014 -- He is coming back from microfracture surgery but his rehab has gone well recently. The one-year deal allows him to make good this year to cash in next year.
Martez Wilson: Signed through 2014 -- His measurables have the team intrigued at what he could be in a full year with Rod Marinelli. He is an unrestricted free agent after the season.
Tristan Okpalaugo: Signed through 2014 – He was a futures signing after the season and team is hoping they found a diamond in rough.
Caesar Rayford: Signed through 2014 – Acquired in trade from Indianapolis last summer, he is a project but looks the part.
Jeremy Mincey: Signed through 2015 -- A free-agent pickup, he can play either end spot and move inside in passing situations.
Analysis: The only player with a contract past 2015 is McClain, which is one of the reasons why defensive line remains a need. The main reason, however, is they can still use an infusion of talent and a natural pass rusher … Melton’s deal could run through 2017 if the Cowboys pick up his option. For that to happen, however, he will have to perform close to his Pro Bowl level with the Chicago Bears in 2013 … Position flexibility helps. Bass, Crawford, Mincey and Selvie have the ability to play end and tackle depending on the situation.