Dallas Cowboys: Willie Young

DE now a 'must' for Cowboys, not a need

March, 11, 2014
Mar 11
4:30
PM ET

IRVING, Texas -- Now that the Dallas Cowboys have decided to part ways with DeMarcus Ware, their all-time leader in sacks, they must figure out a way to replace his production and more than just the six sacks he recorded in 2013.

The Cowboys will gain $7.4 million in salary cap space by releasing Ware, which will give them enough room to add whoever they want to add on a defense that is in need of even more help without Ware.

As a point of reference, the Cowboys signed cornerback Brandon Carr to a five-year, $50 million deal in 2012 and his first-year cap number was $3.2 million.

The best way to replace Ware is with a number of players. The key to the Cowboys' 4-3 scheme is sustained pressure with their front four. Bringing those players in waves is what works best. With Ware scheduled to make $12.75 million in base salary and offseason workouts in 2014, the Cowboys have to re-configure that money to multiple players.

The chances of re-signing Jason Hatcher have improved, but he will receive interest from other teams and will want to check out what others have to say.

If the Cowboys can get a veteran pass-rusher at the price that teams paid Dwight Freeney and Osi Umenyiora a year ago (two years, a little more than $4 million annually), then that is a route they will go.

If they want to spend a little more, then keep an eye on Willie Young of the Detroit Lions. He is something of a forgotten man on the Lions' defensive line, but he has had his moments against the Cowboys.

This point, however, has to be perfectly clear: the defensive line has gone from a need to a must for the Cowboys.

It is quite possible George Selvie will be their top returning defensive lineman in 2013, and he did not join the roster until training camp started.

Tyron Smith moves forward

October, 4, 2011
10/04/11
2:25
PM ET


IRVING -- First-round pick Tyron Smith wasn't a happy man after the loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

Smith allowed a fourth-quarter sack of quarterback Tony Romo. Smith was pushed back by defensive end Willie Young, a 2010 seventh-round pick from N.C. State, who used a bull rush.

"Bad technique," Smith said regarding the sack.

Smith has played well so far. He's allowed just one sack and has done a nice job while getting help from left guard Kyle Kosier in defending the pass rush. Smith performed well in one-on-one situations, too. He shows his athletic ability with his footwork and using his arms to keep defenders away.

But the loss to the Lions upset Smith. The sack, coming with 35 seconds remaining, bothered him to the point where he declined to speak with reporters.

"I just didn't want to say anything to anybody," Smith said. "I just didn't want to talk. I'm upset every time we lose, you just got to deal with it and move on from it."

During the bye week, Smith said he's going to do more film study and maybe go home to Southern California to visit some family and friends.

"I feel like I have a lot to learn and a long way to go," he said.
ARLINGTON, Texas – It was a terrible time for Tyron Smith to give up a sack for the first time in his NFL career.

It came with 35 seconds remaining and a desperate Dallas team, needing a touchdown to win, driving at the Lions’ 45-yard line. With no timeouts remaining, the sack by Detroit’s Willie Young killed the Cowboys’ slim chances of pulling off a comeback after blowing a 24-point lead.

You might be wondering who the heck is Willie Young. Well, he was a seventh-round pick in 2010 who didn’t have a career sack until he ran over the Cowboys’ first-round pick en route to Tony Romo.

Smith ended up flat on his back 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage. The 251-pound Young’s punch to the 307-pound Smith’s right shoulder sent the right tackle stumbling backwards. Young crashed to the ground near Romo’s feet, powerless to prevent Young from taking Romo to the turf.

How did a backup defensive end look like Reggie White against the Cowboys’ prized rookie with the game on the line? Smith offered no explanation of the play, refusing to take questions from reporters.

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