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Lockout analysis: Defensive line

7/6/2011

ESPNDallas is providing a daily breakdown on how the lockout has affected the individual position groups. This afternoon we take a look at the defensive line.

Position: Defensive line

Depth chart: Stephen Bowen, Jason Hatcher, Jay Ratliff, Josh Brent, Igor Olshansky, Clifton Geathers, Sean Lissemore, Marcus Spears

Not under contract: Bowen, Hatcher, Spears and Geathers

Player hurt most by the lockout: Spears

Player with most to gain: Bowen

Analysis: The Cowboys have work to do at this position with three players who are expected to become free agents who would attract some suitors. Of course, Spears is waiting for the lockout to end. He's an unrestricted free agent, finally, and would like to test the market. He should find a new home but can't because he's been waiting, waiting and waiting for the labor mess to end.

Bowen emerged as a pass-rushing end who plays well against the run. This lockout has raised his stock among teams. While the Cowboys have placed a second-round tender on him, he could become an unrestricted free agent, based on a new collective bargaining agreement. If that's so, Bowen would command a good salary on the open market. The Cowboys value his talents, but it's uncertain how much money he would get on the open market.

Lissemore and Brent are players seeking more playing time, and with Spears and possibly Hatcher and Bowen gone, they will get it.