By Kevin Turner | 105.3 The Fan
KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 15: Defenders Justin Durant #52 and Nick Hayden #96 of the Dallas Cowboys tackle running back Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half on September 15, 2013 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

Justin Durant and Nick Hayden tackle running back Jamaal Charles (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

DALLAS (105.3 THE FAN) — The Cowboys organization has taken a lot of heat for their inability to stabilize their defensive front. There’s a lot of factors that come into play here, but the first thing that sticks out is passing on DT Shariff Floyd in the first round.

Many think they could’ve had Travis Frederick and Floyd if they would have just stood still instead of trading back. Of course, if Gavin Escobar hadn’t been such a non-factor this season, then none of this would even be an issue, because we’d be celebrating the fruits of his red zone talents that we’ve yet to witness.

Josh Brent and Jay Ratliff also have taken the brunt of venom, and deservingly so. Throw in a banged up DeMarcus Ware and then what you have is a complete mess on your hand.

Somehow, shockingly the defensive line has been able to stay afloat and not sink to the lower tiers of production in the NFL. The Cowboys are actually a top ten team in pressures. What? How? I think i’ve got it figured out.

This is not some genius strategy. It’s something that has been forced on them, but has now turned into a strategy for them as the season has gone on. Are you ready? It’s just a theory…so don’t freak out. We can’t have everyone freaking out. Keep your composure.


The Cowboys defensive line has found a way to not be terrible, by implementing many fringe NFL players who are desperate for a life in the NFL. These are guys who are conscious of every move they make because the tape doesn’t lie. They know they are being watched. They know they are seconds away from being back out on the street or back to another practice squad. They’re hungry to keep a career. Seems way too simple.

I know if the boss said if you suck at your job tomorrow then you’re getting the axe, then I’d probably freak out and make some tackles….and by tackles I mean jokes in my medium.

There’s a second part to this theory…

The Cowboys defensive line has found a way to not be terrible, by implementing many fringe NFL players who are actually really fresh and healthy because they are fringe NFL players who don’t have the wear and tear of a full season taking a toll on their bodies. It’s not analytic and I hate that, but maybe it’s sort of true.

I’m not going to sit here and pretend like Drake Nevis, Nick Hayden, Jarius Wynn, Caesar Rayford, Everett Dawkins, Everette Brown, etc.., is a better d-line than the expected Ware, Hatcher, Ratliff, and Anthony Spencer tandem, but even if it’s by accident, the Cowboys have done some pretty decent damage control. This could be a lot worse, and you could argue that it probably should be. There’s no improvement in sight, but maybe just bringing in fresh guys without 8 games on their bodies to come in and pack a punch against banged offensive lineman could actually be a great idea.

I’m not expecting improvement. I’m not expecting anything at all, but maybe, just maybe, the Cowboys have found something that the rest of the NFL will take note on. You probably don’t have to actively look for them, but there’s now a reason to not be shy about dumping what you consider “fringe” players off and on the roster. These guys are gonna play hard for you, because they’re trying to cling on to a job, and their health and stamina should be top notch without the wear and tear of a season on them.

It’s not an ideal situation, but I think the Cowboys are making the best of it, by keeping it a fluid process.

You can hear KT on the Ben & Skin Show, weekdays 2-6 pm on 105.3 The Fan. Or follow him on Twitter.

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