One of the many new additions to the Cowboys this offseason was defensive linemen Brent Urban. After six years in the NFL, Urban finds himself in Dallas, expected to play one of the bigger roles in his six-year career for defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.
Career Review: After being drafted in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens, Urban has bounced around the league in his short career in the NFL. Spending his rookie contract with the Ravens, Urban started 19 games, and produced 3.5 sacks, seven tackles for loss, and four quarterback hits. While playing primarily as a two-gapping run defender in the early stages of his career, Urban was finally given opportunities to win one-on-one, one-gapping matchups in 2020 with the Chicago Bears. He earned eight starts, and recorded career high numbers in sacks (2.5) and QB hits (4), and received a career high PFF Grade of 79.5.
Scheme Fit: One thing Quinn will love about Urban is the versatility he offers along the defensive line. While he has the size to lineup in the interior at nose and under-tackle, he also has the athleticism and suddenness to play the strong-side defensive end role if need be. Urban’s size, athleticism, length, and explosiveness will allow him to line up in multiple alignments for Quinn including 1-tech, 3-tech, 4i, 5-tech, and your standard base defensive end.
Summary: For the first time in what seems like forever, the Cowboys finally have a really good run defending defensive linemen to pair with DeMarcus Lawrence. While Antwaun Woods and Tyrone Crawford have played serviceable roles as run defenders at times in their time with the Cowboys, the team often relied on players like Maliek Collins, Brian Price, and Christian Covington to play vital roles in stopping the opponents running game over the years. Without question, Brent Urban is the best run defending defensive linemen the Cowboys have had in some time, and should help improve the Cowboys run defense woes that have been an issue for some time now.
Projected Season Stats: 4.5 sacks, six tackles for loss, 46 total tackles, seven QB hits.