D-Line -> Pessimist vs Optimist

I want to be excited for the Cowboys line this year! But the pessimist in me keeps poking through. I highly doubt they will be any players as good in the top end (Hatcher, Ware), but they can make up some ground by not being as miserable on the back end of the D-Line rotation. Here are some optimistic and pessimistic thoughts on the line.

  • We got lots of young talent!! 6 Players Under 30 (Week 1) taken in the top 105 of the draft. Okoye (10), Lawerence (34), McClain (65), Wilson (72), Crawford (81), Melton (105). Only 2 last year (Crawford, Spencer) and both basically missed the season.

  • Not much recent success. Only George Selvie made a significant (50% def snaps and didn't suck) contribution to his team last year.

  • Ben Gardner can jump really high!

  • Terrell McClain was once cut for Bobby Carpenter.

  • 4 Players that have had at least 7 sacks in a season (Spencer, Melton, Mincey, Selvie)!!

  • Lots of hope resting on Rehabs. 5 players returning for major injures

  1. Anthony Spencer -> Micro fracture
  2. Henry Melton -> ACL tear
  3. Tyrone Crawford -> Achilles
  4. Ben Bass -> Separated Shoulder
  5. Amobi Okoye -> Unknown illness out for 2013

  • 2 Former Pro Bowlers (Spencer, Melton)

  • Terrell McClain was once cut over Frank Kearse.

  • Ben Gardner...just that.

  • Jeremy Mincey was cut from Jacksonville for being distracted from football.

  • Cowboys played 20 players on DL last year with 3 more players never playing snap (Ratliff, Crawford, Bass). Would be very hard to repeat that. Next closest team played 14 players.

  • Nick Hayden

  • Ceasor Rayford lead all of preseason in sacks last year!!! Yipeee!! Pre-season!!

  • Ceasor Rayford had the most pass rushing attempts in all of preseason and the lowest Pass Rushing Productivity of all Colt Lbs in preseason last year.

  • Terrell McClain did not suck in ~180 snaps in Houston last year.

I can definitely see us being worst than last year on the D-Line and actually worse overall as a defense. Cowboys were last in Sacks per pass attempt...but not historically bad. They really need some healthy seasons from injured players, better than average productivity from our second round pass rusher, even more Marinelli magic and some luck on the reclamation projects.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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