- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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With the Cowboys placing the franchise tag on Anthony Spencer on Monday, it means, barring any sudden roster moves, the starting defensive line has been set.
DeMarcus Ware and Spencer will be your defensive ends and Jason Hatcher and Jay Ratliff will be the defensive tackles. Ratliff plays the under tackle position, which means he'll lineup against the guard and avoid the constant double-teams at nose tackle.
Hatcher would move from end to tackle and will line up over the shoulder of the center. The 6-6, 305-pound Hatcher said on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM that he might have to bulk up to play inside.
Ware and Spencer would be returning to their former college positions. Spencer, who was the strongside outside linebacker in the 3-4, will continue to play the strong side as an end in the 4-3. Ware, of course, would line up closer to Ratliff on the weak side.
Everything could change if the Cowboys believe Tyrone Crawford is better suited to play Hatcher's position and/or if the team drafts a defensive tackle.
For now, the Cowboys have their projected starting lineup along the defensive line.