There are those that think the Cowboys’ defense is headed for a historically horrible season. The reason is the defensive line.
Gone from last year, of course, are DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher. The plan to replace them – much less upgrade from them – has gone awry.
At one defensive end the Cowboys hoped for Anthony Spencer. He’s yet take a training camp repetition, though owner Jerry Jones said he thinks the veteran will start the season on the active roster. At the other end the plan was to rely heavily on rookie DeMarcus Lawrence. But he broke his foot during camp’s first week, and will miss at least the first four games.
At tackle the outlook isn’t much brighter.
Free-agent jewel Henry Melton is coming off ACL surgery and was unimpactful at camp, before straining a groin that will likely cost him all the preseason. The Cowboys also signed Terrell McClain to start at tackle, but has made it through only one practice because of a sprained ankle.
In other words, of the Cowboys’ desired front four exactly zero are healthy enough to play football right now.
It leaves defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli with patchwork players like Nick Hayden and George Selvie, along with free-agent signee Jeremy Mincey and promising third-year player Tyrone Crawford to hold the fort before the starters return.
Without Spencer and Melton in the mix, it’s safe to say the Cowboys’ have the worst defensive line in the NFL. And it’s not even close.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.