It was exactly one week ago Thursday that the Dallas Cowboys tipped over a domino to start a chain reaction on defense. Little by little, move by move, the overall shape of the Cowboys defense has changed dramatically over the course of the last week, and a lot of that can be traced back to the drafting of Micah Parsons with the 12th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The trade back that Dallas made with Philadelphia on night one of the draft ultimately netted them another draft pick, and with it another defensive player in defensive end Chaunce Golston. At draft’s end the Cowboys spent eight of their 11 picks on the defensive side of the ball including their first six, a first in franchise history.
Defensive Players drafted by the Dallas Cowboys:
- LB Micah Parsons
- CB Kelvin Joseph
- DT Osa Odighizuwa
- DE Chauncey Golston
- CB Nahshon Wright
- LB Jabril Cox
- DT Quinton Bohanna
- S Israel Mukuamu
Bringing in two linebackers, including one with the team’s first selection, sent as big of a sign as Dallas possibly could that they were not exactly super in on the duo of Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith. This idea was fortified on Monday when the club declined the fifth-year option for LVE, making 2021 a contract year for their 2018 first-round pick.
While the Cowboys didn’t completely move on from Vander Esch on Monday, they certainly drew a line in the sand of sorts. Defensively this team was a disaster last season and it appears that accountability is finally a thing there which was further put into action when they released five defensive players on Wednesday.
Defensive Players the Cowboys moved on from on Wednesday
- CB Kemon Hall
- DE Ladarius Hamilton
- DT Walter Palmore
- CB Saivion Smith
- DT Antwaun Woods
Nobody is going to believe that things are automatically different for the Cowboys because they released some players on the outside of the roster bubble, but it is apparent that a makeover of sorts is underway. Dallas seems to be trying to fit a defensive mold that Dan Quinn envisions, and if they brought in the former Atlanta Falcons head coach in to run his defense it would make sense to let him do just that.
Time often moves fast in the National Football League and that has certainly been the case for the Cowboys as of late. Hopefully these changes are ones that are the correct first steps in the right direction.