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Cowboys 2021 Defense: Regime Change may be Rare Help to Struggling Players

Quite often in the NFL and professional sports in general, big changes in staffs or management are dangerous for returning players. The new crew comes in without loyalty to the previous cast and often look to reshape the roster according to their vision. But for the 2021 , having a new may be just what some of these guys needed.

For or Linebackers and , the changes brought about 's departure and 's one year in 2020 were not favorable. Drafted to play roles in the Cover 2 scheme that Marinelli deployed, they found themselves being asked to do new or different things that weren't ideal to their skill sets.

But with replacing Nolan after that disastrous single season, the Cowboys' 2021 defense will be nearer to Marinelli's philosophies than what Nolan was trying to do. And while Quinn may have had a hand in acquiring new talent like , , and others, he may also be intrigued by getting the holdovers from last year back to the things they're good at.

The Cowboys seem ready to embrace all of the healthy competition throughout their defense. They kept most of the previous prospects and even struggling players around to see what effect Quinn can have on them, but also weren't shy about adding more bodies and options at every position.

Take a guy like Hill, a 2019 2nd-round pick who's yet to find his groove. Trysten was flashing some good things before his season-ending last year but has yet to make a real name for himself.

It would be easy for Quinn to focus on additions Urban and Carlons Watkins, plus rookies and , and leave guys like Hill or even on his mental back burner.  And, to be real, there's no guarantee that he won't favor his guys over Marinelli or Nolan's.

But at least these players who've been with Dallas for a while are getting an opportunity to return to what they were either brought here to do or have already been successful doing. Maybe Leighton and Jaylon won't be able to fight off Micah Parsons and in the long run, but they're getting a much better shot now under Quinn than they'd have had if Nolan was still around.

The defensive position battles in this upcoming and are going to be fascinating to watch. The Cowboys have made some big changes but didn't discard the previous talent, creating a competitive atmosphere that should produce some hardened talent for the .

As long as Dan Quinn is the improvement at defensive coordinator that we think, the end result could be a dramatic leap forward in just a single .

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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