The “will they or won’t they” debate concerning 1-tech defensive tackles for the Dallas Cowboys rumbles on. The latest piece of information to add to the back-and-forth is that defensive tackle Vita Vea will be a pre-draft visitor for Dallas.
Washington DT Vita Vea, one of the top players in the draft, visits Cowboys, Buccaneers, Washington, Chargers, Giants, Bengals, Broncos, Browns, according to a league source— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 26, 2018
Vea is certainly going to be drafted in the first round, and there is a question as to whether he will even be available for the Cowboys at pick #19. Traditionally, the Cowboys have not drafted defensive tackles, especially 1-tech tackles, high in the draft. It’s no secret that in Rod Marinelli’s defense the 3-tech is the more valued position.
Earlier in this offseason, Stephen Jones reiterated the Cowboys position about nose tackles, with one important caveat.
“If you’re talking about a pure nose, I don’t see that changing for us,” executive vice president Stephen Jones said on Tuesday from the NFL Scouting Combine.
“I think we just feel like in Rod’s system that we can get the job done without a big, first-round nose, if that’s all he really is. Now, some of these guys might be more than a nose than you think. They could have some under tackle to them and you’re certainly looking at them if that’s the case. Obviously that under tackle position is a big one for us.”
Given that there is no way the Cowboys are looking at Vea as anything other than a first-round pick, the logical conclusion is that they must think Vea has traits of a 3-tech (under tackle) in a 1-tech (nose tackle) body.
Vea is a strong, powerful man, but he’s not exactly a slug in the middle. He can move around. So if you had written off the Cowboys taking a 1-tech early in the draft, you might want to reconsider.