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Could DT Akiem Hicks Solidify the Cowboys Defensive Line?

As of now the haven't added any new talent at . Could veteran , still a , provide an upgrade and stabilizing presence in the middle of the line?

So far Dallas has re-signed and still has the young stable of , , , and to work with. But while Gallimore and Odighizuwa have shown exciting potential as pass rushers, run remained an issue last year and may not be solved by internal development.

was supposed to help with that but only played six games before an arm ended his season. He remains available in and could very well find his way back to the Cowboys as the progresses.

But veteran Akiem Hicks, a longtime run-stuffer and former Pro Bowler with the Bears, presents another opportunity. And as we move into April, the 32-year-old's asking price may be dropping closer to Dallas' range.

Hicks has primarily played as a 3-4 DE in Chicago and in former stops with New England and New Orleans. Akiem transitioned to DT last year under new Bears .

Listed at 6'4″ and over 330 lbs., Hicks is a true space-eater in the middle of the line. And unlike second-year prospect Quinton Bohanna, Akiem has a proven track record of NFL performance that could help bolster Dallas' defense in the trenches.

From 2016-2018, Hicks had at least seven each year and graded out as one of, if not the best, run defenders in football. He can be highly disruptive even as a run-stuffer; a rare and valuable commodity.

So why is Akiem Hicks still available in free agency? The fact he turns 33 in November is one factor, as are the 20 games he's missed over the last three seasons with varying minor . But these factors are also what will help drive his price down.

The Cowboys could be interested because they would be asking Hicks to take on a lesser role. They have guys to handle passing downs but are sorely lacking beef and extra push up front. Akiem feels like the best option for that among the remaining 2022 .

Georgia's Davis isn't falling to the 24th pick after what he did at the Combine. Having a reasonable shot at Davis would be the only reason for Dallas to stand pat at defensive now, but Davis should go early in the 1st round and the Cowboys will likely focus on LG, WR, or LB with their first pick.

You never know, and especially these days, what this is thinking. They may have more faith Bohanna's development or that re- Urban will be a better option. There could be a mid-round DT prospect they have their eye on, especially if it's for more of a situational role than a full-time tackle.

Akiem Hicks could be the best of both worlds. When healthy he's been one of the best big men in football. If Dallas can offer him reduced mileage as part of a rotation, plus the chance to play for , it could be a good short-term option for both parties.

Jess Haynie
Jess Haynie
Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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Cody Black

Hicks played in a 3-4 last year too. Eberflus was just hired in January 2022. So Hicks didn’t play last season at DT in a 4-3. Sean Desai was his DC, a guy promoted from being a position coach under Pagano. Might want to correct that in your article.

McKinneyGreg

So, you are rehashing a story from SI from a couple of days ago? We want a 32 year old guy recovering from groin and ankle injuries last year, when you don’t even give accurate or any information as to his status from his “minor injuries “ The guy has missed an average of 7 games a year of the last 3 and you think this is a good move?? Anyone remember a guy named Geald McCoy? Jerry isn’t going to throw a bunch of money at a D tackle who is 32! He won’t throw it at a 22 yr old one !

VAM

Agree that injuries are a concern. That said, Jerry is still paying T Hill, a 24-year-old DT who in THREE YEARS has a grand total of 27 tackles, 2 for loss, 0.5 sack, 8 QB hits. While in NINE GAMES last year, Hicks had 25 tackles, 5 for loss, 3.5 sacks, 9 QB hits, 11 pressures. IMO, with TEAM FRIENDLY terms, a Hicks addition MAY make sense, as he appears to have some gas left in the tank short term. And I get the McCoy comparison, but not talking about a 3-year deal like McCoy’s contract. Of course, all FA signings, for that matter draft picks, come with some risk.

VAM

Hey Jess, you may have something there. When Hicks is healthy, he puts up very respectable numbers, including some sacks. Agree, could be a good short-term addition.

gary b

Jess- I like that you are exploring options to improve our dismal run defense, which doesn’t get discussed enough. Have heard N Suh name mentioned. Ur thoughts on that?

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