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Cowboys Defensive Line Position Battle: Pick Your Top 8

The first in a series of position battles, we examine the defensive line.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The battle for a spot on the Dallas Cowboys defensive line in 2014 feels like an over-the-top-rope battle royal in the WWE. We have 15 contenders for roughly eight to ten spots, but for the purposes of this exercise we'll limit it to two-deep along the line, meaning the top eight players. So the idea is you have to choose your eight and tell us why you went that way.

Here are your contenders.

# Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Age Exp. College
79 Bass, Ben DE 6-5 294 24 3 Texas A&M
98 Crawford, Tyrone DE 6-4 284 24 3 Boise State
71 Gardner, Ben DE 6-4 262 23 R Stanford
90 Lawrence, DeMarcus DE 6-3 251 22 R Boise St.
92 Mincey, Jeremy DE 6-4 265 30 7 Florida
95 Rayford, Caesar DE 6-7 267 28 1 Washington
99 Selvie, George DE 6-4 270 27 5 South Florida
93 Spencer, Anthony DE 6-3 262 30 8 Purdue
56 Wilson, Martez DE 6-4 252 25 4 Illinois
76 Coleman, Davon DT 6-2 297 23 R Arizona State
96 Hayden, Nick DT 6-4 301 28 7 Wisconsin
97 McClain, Terrell DT 6-2 293 25 4 South Florida
69 Melton, Henry DT 6-3 295 27 6 Texas
60 Okoye, Amobi DT 6-2 292 27 7 Louisville
74 Whaley, Chris DT 6-3 272 23 R Texas

My picks:


DT - Henry Melton: He's the prize of free agency and will hopefully be the star at the all-important 3-tech spot.
DT - Terrell McClain: The Cowboys want someone with a little more upfield ability than Nick Hayden, McClain will be given first opportunity
DE - George Selvie: He proved himself last year as a reliable option.
DE - DeMarcus Lawrence: Throw the rookie in and let him swim, they need his potential as a pass-rusher.


DT - Ben Bass: Showed a lot of potential before the injury, he makes the move inside where his quickness pays off.
DT - Nick Hayden: Cowboys decide to go with experience, a player they know will work hard and is durable.
DE - Tyrone Crawford: Big things are expected of Crawford, he could move into the starting lineup sooner than later.
DE - Jeremy Mincey: He may actually start ahead of Lawrence to begin with, but he should be a solid rotational guy.

That's my top 8 on the defensive line. I do think the Cowboys will keep one or two extra guys to begin with, and there is always the practice squad and IR, where Anthony Spencer is likely to be placed. Who are your top 8?

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