Frank Heinz, NBC 5 News
After being one of just two defensive linemen to appear in all 16 games for the Dallas Cowboys last year, Nick Hayden is glad to be part of a healthy rotation once again.
For obvious reasons after last year, depth a priority for Dallas. Seemingly weekly, the team was forced to pick up a defensive lineman off the street, and while some of them provided nice surprises for the team, they couldn’t do enough to prevent them from finishing dead last in total defense. This year, Dallas will use an eight-man rotation in hopes of keeping guys healthy.
“It definitely helps having other guys come in, because, like last year, we all got pretty tired at the end of the year. So we definitely needed this rotation,” Hayden told the team’s official website. “It’ll be huge this year and hopefully it works out, and hopefully we’re not bringing in 20 different names each week. We’re trying to get something where we can have the same number of guys and keep it that way the whole year.”
To be sure, 2013 was rough. But there’s little doubt that Hayden, who finished with 44 tackles a year ago, is better off for having had that experience.
“Each year it’s just going to get easier and easier for me, because the more I play the more comfortable you get in there, and you pick up on little things,” Hayden said. “But you just always needs to improve on everything--every facet of your game you need to improve on.”
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