Ed Note - Heavy load of GIFs on the way, be patient...
The Dallas Cowboys have neglected the defensive tackle for awhile now. Because of that, guys like Nick Hayden and Terrell McClain have seen more playing time. And while those guys aren't particularly bad, they aren't particularly good either. Hayden and McClain would be better suited as change-of-pace, depth-purposes type of players. By making an upgrade at the 1-technique position, the Cowboys would benefit tremendously, and it would also help other defensive lineman, such as Tyrone Crawford, Demarcus Lawrence, and Randy Gregory.
At times, it's clear how big of an impact Crawford can make in the pass-rushing department. However, he doesn't have a true counterpart next to him in the interior part of the defensive line to be a consistent force at stopping the run. To solve that issue, the Cowboys will likely look to this talented class to bring in a starting 1-technique defensive tackle and a guy that fits that run-stuffing mold is Louisiana Tech's Vernon Butler.
At 6'4, 325 pounds, Butler is the epitome of a true bulldozer. Because of his size and power, it's extremely difficult for offensive lineman to push him back. I throw around the term "table-setter" when I analyze defensive tackles and Butler is a guy that does just that. By taking out two offensive lineman in a play, it gives way for the rest of the front seven to have an easier time at stopping the run. It should be said that the Cowboys have too many athletes on their defensive line. They need a mean road-grader who can disrupt the flow of an offensive line. Let's take a look at film of Butler and see why he would be a good fit in Dallas:
When offensive lines are trying to run a zone-scheme, Butler does a real nice job at splitting gaps. By using his power, Butler gets in the backfield here with ease: