Cowboys Camp: First Look At The Starting Defense ✭
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Cowboys Camp: First Look At The Starting Defense

Tyrone Crawford, Sean Lee, Cedric Thornton, Eagles

Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys Camp: First Look At The Starting Defense

Cowboys Camp: First Look At The Starting Defense

The Dallas Cowboys had a real football practice yesterday. Yes, it’s okay to be excited about it even if it was only a walk through.

With the first practice comes our first look at what the coaches believe to be their starting units, if they were to build a depth chart on day one. For the most part, there weren’t any surprises with who lined up with the first unit. Still, there is still some interesting analysis to be drawn from the Cowboys initial starting defense.

David Helman on Twitter

1st D is: LCB – 24 RCB – 30 Slot CB – 32 FS – 31 SS – 38 WLB – 50 MLB – 59 LDE – 98 DT – 92 DT – 96 DE – 90

As you can deduce from David Helman’s tweet, the Cowboys first defense was their current nickel set. In the secondary, there isn’t much to discuss. Byron Jones and Jeff Heath are the starting safeties, as we expected. Nolan Carroll and Anthony Brown are the starting cornerbacks, with Orlando Scandrick working in the slot.

Scandrick and Carroll should both be on notice, however, as rookie corners Jourdan Lewis and Chidobe Awuzie may be gunning for their spots during the season.

Jaylon Smith is absent from the starting linebackers, but that was to be anticipated. Anthony Hitchens, a serviceable player, and Sean Lee, the best defensive player on the team, are the starting backers.

Up front is where things get more interesting.

Second year stud Maliek Collins and former Eagle Cedric Thornton line up on the inside, while DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford begin at defensive end. Crawford spent time both inside and out in 2016, moving around the defensive line as needed.

Lawrence is an intriguing case. If healthy, he may be the best defensive end on the Cowboys roster. The problem is, he simply has not been able to stay healthy. With nagging back issues we are right to question if Lawrence can hold up for an entire season.

If he can, however, he should be a productive defensive end for the Cowboys in 2017. If they can somehow get 6-8 sacks from DeMarcus Lawrence, the outlook for this defense will change drastically.

The only change I anticipate from now to week one, barring injury, is at left defensive end. I really do expect Taco Charlton to win the job by the end of camp. If not by then, I think he will be the Cowboys main LDE by the middle of this season. Maybe I am being a little to rash in my predictions, but I do like what Taco can bring.

For now, though, Tyrone Crawford holds the spot and a chance to be the full time starter. Another player to look out for to overtake a defensive end spot would be Benson Mayowa, who reportedly spent all of day one getting reps at RDE.

It will certainly be a lot of fun to watch and see how the defensive lineup unfolds throughout the rest of training camp and preseason.

Kevin Brady

Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the ‘boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and am currently a college student. Lets get going.

  • Travis Diggs

    This line up looks cute now lol. By midseason its gonna be all jumbled up in a good way. I believe the whole db Draft class will contribute. Demontre Moore will push Tyron Crawford out of his job and Taco will push Lawrence in Make or Break year for him. The defense is getting younger in a good way, Crawford and Scandrick days are numbered

  • Russ_Te

    Everson Walls – UFA

    Michael Downs – UFA

    Ron Fellows – 7th round

    All rookies in 1981. They went on to all start in Landry’s youth movement in the secondary, and became a strength of that team – which finished in the Final 4. They upticked team INT’s substantially.

    This is the closest year to that I can remember for the secondary. Would be a hoot if Jones flew them out to Oxnard for a couple days (all still alive, late 50’s). I think this unit could get something out of that example.

    Big camp ahead: Maybe Collins. He has the talent & this could be his year to go off. That would go a long way for DL pressures this year. Still think Irving will close the season as starting LDE, and Taco moves inside to LDT.

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