The Dallas Cowboys interior defensive line play has come under a lot of scrutiny this season for their inability to slow the run game of their opponents and the inconsistent pressure. The Cowboys made a move this week by releasing Dontari Poe, which will open up snaps for others along the defensive line, in particular, the guys that can play the nose tackle, 1-technique defensive tackle position. One player who should start for the Cowboys now at the nose tackle spot is Antwaun Woods, who has arguably been the Cowboys best interior defensive line player.
Though he’s has played fewer snaps on the season than Dontari Poe, Trysten Hill, and Tyrone Crawford, Woods recorded more sacks than any of them. Per Pro Football Focus, Woods tied Trysten Hill in their “stops” category which counts tackles that resulted in a loss for the offense.
Woods may not be the best nose tackle in the league, but he’s proven over the last few years to be a solid option for the Dallas Cowboys defense. He’ll rotate with La’Darius Hamilton and Neville Gallimore at the nose tackle spot, but Woods should see an increased opportunity this week against the Philadelphia Eagles and moving forward.
The Cowboys need someone to step up on the inside of their defensive line to be better against the run. Dontari Poe wasn’t doing much to help the Cowboys and now he’s gone. Antwaun Woods will be the next to get an opportunity and Woods will provide a solid effort throughout the contest. Here’s hoping he does provide an upgrade to a Cowboys run defense that has been the worst in the NFL in 2020.
The Cowboys defense is allowing 5.3 yards per carry and only the Houston Texans have allowed more rushing yards per game. They need a boost in their run defense and it starts in the middle of their defensive line.
On a one-year deal and a restricted free agent next offseason, the Cowboys should look into bringing Woods back again in 2021. He’s a solid depth option that regardless of what they do in the 2021 offseason can still be a solid option for them down the road. The final nine games of 2020 will allow the Cowboys to find out if they have a future with Antwaun Woods.