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Cowboys rookie report: The emergence of Neville Gallimore

Gallimore is a rookie to watch in the Cowboys’ next few slates.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas’ unloading of a few big-name signings was one of the best things that could’ve happened to them all season. The team - which has consistently opted to stay away from blockbuster free agent deals through the past few off-seasons (Earl Thomas is the most prominent of several names that fit this description) - finally bit the bullet this past summer and opened their checkbooks to incumbent playmakers.

They inked deals with a bevy of the market’s more high-caliber weapons, including Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Aldon Smith, Dontari Poe and Everson Griffen.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys signed Everson Griffen to a one-year, $6 million deal in August.
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The result was a rarity for the Jones family - a full-on wheel-and-deal rendezvous in hopes to strengthen their front line with enough stability to make a deep push into the playoffs.

We know now that’s about as wishful a thought as lottery-winning daydreams. And when their fort began to cave in as the season wore on, the Cowboys’ front office had no choice but to surrender a few of their men to battle.

They parted ways with both Poe and Griffen, who at that point had done very little to live up to the hype that had paraded them into town. Their jobs on Dallas’ defensive line were simple: Poe was to use every ounce of his gaudy 6’3, 346-lb frame to cause enormous commotion inside, while Griffen, who had knowingly digressed due to age, was going to be counted on to resurface some rendition of the sack prowess that had wafted him to four Pro Bowl appearances.

Neither did anything of the sort.

Poe was labeled out of shape by several defensive coaches, and found himself thrust out of countless A-gap holes that led to gargantuan opposing rushing outputs. Griffen, on the other hand, was a step too slow in far too many plays that required his vanquishing abilities, and at times looked as if he were running with cement blocks bound to his ankles as quicker running backs scurried out of his clutches.

And both were none too surprised when janitor Jones came sweeping in to clean up their mess, shipping both out of the Star with rapidity.

The newly-freed roster spots not only gave Dallas’ front office breathing room in their pockets, but provided lesser-known greenhorns with ample playing time to make a lasting impression.

One such rookie is Neville Gallimore.

Gallimore, who measures out much thinner than Poe’s massive girth at 302 lbs, makes up for it with a sneaky-sly nimbleness, and quick-twitch dexterity that rivals athletes much smaller than him in size.

But don't let that fool you. He’s still a mammoth of a man, and his ability to go both through, and around opposing blockers will serve the Cowboys well as this marathon season wears on.

Little has been unearthed of the 23-year-old Oklahoma product in terms of stat sheet production. In fact, he just recently earned his playing wings in the ‘Boys Week 5 matchup vs. the Giants. Gallimore finished with just one tackle in 22 snaps, but saw that number balloon to four with one stop in the backfield (38 snaps) vs. Washington, and three, plus another tackle for loss in their Pittsburgh standoff.

His opportunities only project to go up from here.

And with little else to look forward to, perhaps Gallimore can be one of this year’s feel-good stories that lightens a murky outlook.