Defensive tackle will be a hotly contested position for Dallas as we get closer to training camp. While being one of the weaker groups on the team, there will be several guys fighting for many roster spots.
Here’s a breakdown of who’s certain to make the team, others who are likely and those who may be on the fence:
Roster Locks: Neville Gallimore and Osa Odighizuwa
Gallimore missed 13 regular season games with a elbow injury, but came back to be Dallas’s best defensive tackle. He recorded a sack in his week 14 return against Washington, and finished the season with 13 tackles in four games.
It’s safe to say that both of these guys are highly likely to make the roster.
In battle: Carlos Watkins, Trysten Hill, Quinton Bohanna, John Ridgeway
Watkins signed a one-year contract from the Houston Texans and became a starter when Gallimore got injured. He performed well in his increased reps, finishing 2021 with a career-high 32 tackles, one sack and recording an interception return for a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints in week 13.
Hill has been largely average during his time with the Cowboys, but is arguably coming off his best season. He recorded a career-high Pro Football Focus grade of 65.3 and tied his career-high in tackles with 11. Ridgeway is one of Dallas’ fifth-round selections, having been Arkansas’ starting nose tackle last season.
Quinton Bohanna is an outlier here. While retaining some potential, he failed to greatly impress during his rookie season in 2021. Watkins got the majority of reps over him, with Hill outshining Bohanna in the reps they shared.
Prediction: Cowboys cut Bohanna
The Cowboys may cut two of their defensive tackles or send someone to the practice squad. Maybe, Dallas doesn’t cut anyone and Bohanna joins the practice squad. However, if I had to make a guess, I would predict the Cowboys cut the former Kentucky Wildcat.
Gallimore and Odighizuwa are locks to earn roster spots in my mind. Watkins was serviceable while Gallimore was out and Hill showed signs of improving. Ridgeway is also Dallas’ shiny new toy on the interior defensive line, giving him a slight advantage over Bohanna. If the Cowboys carry five defensive tackles into the 2022 season, I believe Bohanna would be the odd man out.