How The Cowboys Are Remaking Half Of The Defense

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FRISCO (105.3 THE FAN) – It’s not too often when a team wins … and then spends the ensuing days remaking a full half of its defensive starting lineup. But that may be the case this week for the Dallas Cowboys.

One of the alterations might come due to injury; Orlando Scandrick is going to attempt to play despite two hamstring injuries. But elsewhere, the changes are due to performance — or lack thereof.

The rundown, in terms of how Dallas has practiced in preparation for Sunday night’s visit from the ailing 0-2 Bears:

-Tyrone Crawford is a 3-Tech tackle by trade, but has been practicing there and at left defensive end, the spot he played to finish last week’s win at Washington.

-Terrell McClain is a 1-Tech by trade, but has been one of Dallas’ top defenders wherever he’s played – and he’s been practicing at Crawford’s 3-Tech spot when Tyrone moves outside.

-Rookie Maliek Collins is way ahead of schedule as a player and is prepared to lock himself in as a starter at the 1-Tech tackle spot.

-Jack Crawford  a capable and versatile journeyman – is not exactly an edge-rusher. But that right end spot is among his assignments this week as he competes with Benson Mayowa at right end. Mayowa is a speed rusher, as is Ryan Davis (who might also be activated this week) but defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli will opt for more “beef’’ at the position at times this Sunday.

David Irving remains in this mix, too, but coaches intimate that he “plays young’’ that is, inconsistently.

And then on top of all of this, vet Justin Durant is threatening to take over for Anthony Hitchens at middle linebacker, where he outplayed the youngster when he replaced him last week in Washington to close the game.

That’s a half-dozen possible changes to an 11-man unit, which can be taken as a sign of “open-mindedness’’ on the part of the coaching staff … or a sign of a lack of consistent talent in the front of the Dallas D.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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