Cowboys Defense: Who Will Back Up The Rat?

Well, the NFL Draft came and went, and the Cowboys never selected that unnamed mammoth defensive tackle whom everyone outside the organization had declared a must-have. Instead the Cowboys apparently appear comfortable doing battle with Jay Ratliff, and whoever emerges and separates himself from the pack of no-names at defensive tackle. Ratliff made it through last season virtually injury-free, and also avoided any type of late season decline. Ratliff may not be so lucky on the injury front this season. Following his first Pro Bowl selection, the Rat may have a slightly bigger target on his back, and may also see a few changes in the way other teams scheme against him. Jay Ratliff needs an occasional breather, and the team needs to know that they have someone on board who can step in should Ratliff miss any time due to injury. The Cowboys have got to get this fixed.

Maybe the team already has this fixed. They are the ones who deal with these players on a day-to-day basis. The Cowboys coaching staff has tape of every down any of these have ever played since college. Maybe there is someone on this roster already whom the team feels is the answer.

A bigger defensive tackle would add a lot to the team in the way of variety and flexibility. A larger nose tackle would at the very least give the opposing offense something different to think about whenever Ratliff comes up for air. The team has not openly expressed a lot of interest in moving Jay Ratliff outside on occasion, but having another capable nose would at least make that a possibility.

Fifth-year veteran Tim Anderson recently underwent toe surgery that will keep him out of action for up to three months. He was a long shot to make the squad before the injury, and has virtually no chance now. Tyler Casey is a converted offensive lineman from La Salle. Good luck finding any information on Casey. You know it's bad when you don't even have a bio on the team's website.

As it sits now the backup NT position is a two-horse race between the only two giant space-eaters on the team, Junior Siavii, and the newly acquired Jonas Seawright. Siavii last recorded at chartable statistic in 2005 as a Kansas City Chief. Seawright was last seen as a New York Giant in 2006, the season in which he recorded his only career tackle.

There is little nose tackle talent still to be had by way of free agency. Career underachiever DeWayne Robertson is still available, but he is the only notable name on the market. Look for the Cowboys to closely monitor the waiver wire all off season long. Maybe a solid veteran will eventually shake loose. At least in the eyes of those outside the organization, the Cowboys do not at this time have a viable backup for Jay Ratliff.

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