The Dallas Cowboys made a statement with an impressive win over a talented Kansas City Chiefs team Sunday afternoon, but unfortunately they didn't escape unscathed. Lost in all of the excitement was the under the radar injury to defensive tackle Brian Price. His injury has raised serious concerns for the depth at the DT position for the Cowboys.
Brian Price has been diagnosed with a sprained MCL and dislocated patella tendon, an injury that will land him on injured reserve. The Dallas Cowboys were already thin at the DT position after Stephen Paea was placed on IR, and Price's injury unfortunately depletes the depth even more.
Now, I know what you're probably thinking. Brian Price probably isn't that big of a loss since he was just a rotational player anyway. But, I think you would be wrong and I'll tell you why.
Yes, Brian Price is a rotational player in the middle of the Dallas Cowboys defensive line at the 1-technique, but he has actually been doing a pretty good job in that role. Stats will say that he just has eight tackles on the year, but he doesn't receive credit for clogging up the middle and helping shut down the run game. That's where he has been the most valuable and something the Cowboys may have a difficult time replacing with their current players.
A big bodied, run stuffing defensive tackle is something the Dallas Cowboys are in need of and supposedly explored the possibility of acquiring last week before the trade deadline. Unfortunately that didn't happen, but the need has definitely increased after learning that Brian Price will miss the remainder of the season.
As things stand right now, Maliek Collins and Richard Ash are really the only two players on the Cowboys roster capable playing the 1-tech down after down. David Irving and possibly Tyrone Crawford could fill in on passing situations, but the need for another big bodied space eater is evident.
Unfortunately, Maliek Collins has been dealing with a foot injury that has kept him out of a few practices and limited his effectiveness on the field. Foot injuries unfortunately have a way of lingering throughout the season. To me, that indicates the DT position is a serious concern right now.
A few weeks ago I suggested the Dallas Cowboys sign free agent DT Arthur Jones to help add depth to the position, and with an increased need now, it definitely seems like a smart move to me. Whether the Cowboys brass make such a move is unknown at this point, but the depth at the DT position has definitely become a serious concern.
The Dallas Cowboys defense is finally starting to come together, and they can't afford to take a step back because of a glaring need. I know the 1-tech isn't highly valued in Rod Marinelli's 4-3 defensive scheme, but the position does help keep the linebackers clean to make tackles and help shutdown the running game. That is why I believe Brian Price's injury may be more important to the overall defensive performance than we may believe.