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Brent Urban’s Role is Critical for the Cowboys Defense in 2021

The had arguably their worst in team in 2020, mainly due to their inability to stop the run. They allowed 100 yards or more 14 times in 16 games which included four games where they gave up over 200 yards. Not being able to stop the run allows the opposing to impose their will and control the tempo of the game.

That's where free-agent addition comes in. Signed to a one-year back in March, the seven-year veteran specializes in what the Cowboys lacked last season, stopping the run. In his final season with the in 2018, he posted a 79.7 grade. In 2020 with the , he posted a run defense grade of 83.7 which was the third-best for all interior defensive linemen according to .

Urban does a good job of absorbing double teams and still being able to shed them and make plays against the run. That's a very important trait for an interior to have because it doesn't allow centers and guards to reach the second level and put a body on linebackers, allowing them to roam and make plays. Also, it gives defensive ends the chance to make plays when runs bounce outside.

The former Virginia Cavalier is ready to resume his run-stuffer role in Dallas, which he explained earlier this .

“I do a good job being stout up front, taking on double teams and doing the dirty work to allow those guys to run free,” Urban said, via the team's website. “That's part of the reason I came here. It seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to continue to do that and help elevate this defense and allow the athletes to be athletes.”

Not only will Urban's play on the inside be critical against the run it will affect the also. Although Urban isn't a sack specialist, a 's worse nightmare is seeing pressure up the middle. If Urban can contribute to condensing the pocket it will force quarterbacks to move outside and become sitting ducks for rushers and blitzing linebackers/cornerbacks.

It's the dirty work on the line of scrimmage that wins ball games in the NFL. Urban embraces this role and recognizes it's importance.

“You've got to,” Urban said during mandatory minicamp, via the Dallas Morning News. “It's not flashy, but you can identify the great defenses doing that job. It's an important job. It's one that takes a selfless individual to do. That's something I pride myself on. I just want to win. I'm willing to do whatever it takes to get there. I understand with my size and attributes, that's what I'm good at.”

You can't play winning football on defense if you can't stop the run. That's what the Urban was all about, and seeing as he's the projected starter at the 1-technique, his play will go a long way into how Dallas performs defensively in 2021.

Matthew Lenix
Matthew Lenix
I write dope stuff about the Dallas Cowboys and what not.

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