Desperate for help along the defensive line, several Cowboys fans with roots planted firmly in the Lone Star State were perched for celebration. As Dallas picked No. 27, Texas defensive tackle Malcom Brown seemed the logical choice.
Instead, the Cowboys passed on Brown and wound up not taking any tackles among their eight picks, leaving the likes of Nick Hayden, Tyrone Crawford and Terrell McClain as the incumbents. The defensive line has certainly been upgraded with the additions of Greg Hardy and Randy Gregory and, in a conference call with season-ticket holders last week, Vice President Stephen Jones explained why the team passed on Brown, who went five picks later to the Patriots.
“Malcom Brown is a great football player and we did have him on our board,” Jones said on the call. “He’s not the perfect ideal fit in coach (Rod) Marinelli’s system. He’s obviously a big physical player. But with Rod, in terms of what we look for with our under tackle, our three-technique — and it’s what Tyrone Crawford plays for us. Russell Maryland did it back when Jimmy Johnson was here, coaching the 4-3 when we went to Super Bowls. Leon Lett did it. We call it a quick twitch. Those guys are real quick coming off the ball. Not that Malcom isn’t, but he’s more of a physical, what they call a two-gap defensive tackle, a nose tackle. We were really looking for people who pressure the quarterback in this draft, so we put a premium on that.”
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Brown, in other words, was big enough to play nose tackle for the Patriots, but not quick enough to play defensive tackle for the Cowboys.
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 lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.