It's been a tough year for the Cowboys defense, but over the last few games a number of different young players have stepped up in a big way.
Some, we expect to see it from. But others have been a pleasant surprise.
On Sunday, defensive tackle Neville Gallimore was one of those pleasant surprises. The third round rookie defensive tackle has had an up-and-down season, but showed off way more promise against the 49ers this week. Gallimore finished the win with 5 total tackles, 1 for loss, 1 pass deflection, and a quarterback hit.
His biggest flash play came in the first quarter, with the Cowboys backed up on first and goal. The 49ers tried to get their center to the second level, having their right guard pass off Gallimore to the tackle. Gallimore was too fast off the ball though, getting in the guard's hip pocket and making it a near impossible block for the right tackle.
Gallimore split the guard and tackle, and came up with a huge tackle for loss.
Later in the game Gallimore came up with another defense-saving play. This time against the pass.
Defending on second and 8 in their own red zone, Gallimore hit a stutter step and swim move over the center, once again splitting between two offensive linemen to make a play in the backfield. He didn't get the sack, but he batted down the ball and forced a third down and long.
— 𝕆𝕂𝕃𝔸ℍ𝕆𝕄𝔸-𝕍𝕊-𝕋ℍ𝔼 𝕎𝕆ℝ𝕃𝔻 (@soonergridiron) December 20, 2020
At 5-9 on the season, this December we are focused on finding bright spots for the future in Dallas. Defensively on Sunday, a few different young players flashed and showed how they can contribute to the 2021 roster.
Neville Gallimore needs to improve upon his consistency, and stop getting blown off the ball by combo blocks against the run. But he made some big time plays this week, and earned some real praise. He's shown promise all season, and I'll be keeping my eye on him the final two weeks to see if he can put together a run of good football.