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After further review: The Cowboys have so many playmakers along the defensive line

What can we learn after re-watching the Rams game?

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

It’s starting to become a regular thing for the Dallas Cowboys. The offense does the bare minimum, the defense plays beyond our wildest expectations, Brett Maher knocks down a few field goals, and the Cowboys sneak out with a win. Rinse and repeat.

It’s a recipe that’s working, at least for now. The defense has been so incredible that it doesn’t take many points to win games. In fact, the defense and special teams will even give you a little help if needed. The Cowboys' defense is currently ranked third-best in points allowed with a measly 72 points surrendered to this point. There are many reasons for their success, but today we’re going to take a look at the real stars of this group - the defensive line. Here are some things that stood out after further review.

The fourth-round star

The Cowboys' war room was super-excited when a Kansas Jayhawk edge rusher was still available on Day 3 of the 2018 NFL Draft. While Dorance Armstong has been mostly quiet throughout his career, the presence of Dan Quinn appears to have awakened him. He had a career season last year and is looking to blow that away this year.

The unstoppable Tank

For the second-straight season, DeMarcus Lawrence has scored a defensive touchdown. It’s becoming harder and harder to not notice him as he’s made a career of doing the dirty work in the trenches. Lawrence gets criticized for not having huge sack numbers, but whenever you put on the film, he can always be seen creating a ruckus. You know about the splashy stuff, but take a look at the little stuff.

The Lion

Micah Parsons got off to a hot start with a two-sack game in each of his first two contests this season. Opposing offenses started to devote more attention his way and while his sacks disappeared, the impact it had on the rest of his teammates was quite fulfilling. It looked as if the Rams were also going to force other defenders to beat them and when we heard Parsons was dealing with a groin injury and would only see pass-rushing reps, it didn’t look like the second-year edge rusher would be able to make much of a splash.

Wrong. Parsons just kept feasting as he once again had a two-sack performance, both coming in the second half.

Digg’n it

Parsons isn’t the only second-year player showing that he’s even better as Osa Odighizuwa is starting to string together more and more wins along the defensive line. Diggy’s high motor was seen on multiple plays as he got in on some clean-up action after his teammates chased Matthew Stafford out of the pocket, but his closing speed and nice length have made him a big player on this defensive line attack as well.

There is no escape

One thing that was on display repeatedly in ths game was how one defensive player would benefit from the great play of another. This defense is so swarmy (is that a word?) that if their opponent somehow manages to get away from one guy, another defender will be arriving shortly. The success of this Cowboys' defense is attributed to their team effort.

Second-round surprises

The Cowboys have been criticized for some of their second-round gamble picks as they go after raw upside guys rather than more proven, ready-to-to players. Trysten Hill had a quiet start to his career, but he has been all over the place this season. And this year’s second-rounder Sam Williams is already showing his playmaking ability way sooner than expected. It’s amazing what you can get under Dan Quinn’s tutelage.

Leaving points on the table

The offense didn’t have a great game as their 239 yards was their lowest output of the season. And that was despite putting up 163 of that on the ground.

It was a grind for sure, but the offense could’ve added at least a couple more Brett Maher field goals if their star receivers didn’t have slippery hands. On a couple of key third down plays, Cooper Rush delivered a perfectly placed ball only to have the receive fail to haul in it. When you’re playing with a backup QB and points are scarce, you really need to have these.

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