The Dallas Cowboys defensive line has been the target of much scrutiny over the past few seasons, particularly when it comes to rushing the passer.
Given this perception of being a weak unit, it’s easy to believe that the competition for the final defensive tackle spot may not be very important in the long run. Those who believe this would be wrong, however.
The battle between former LSU Tiger Lewis Neal and Florida Gator Joey Ivie has reached a crossroads. Both have flashed at times this preseason, but most seem to think there is only room for one of the two on the final roster.
Given his performance Saturday night against the Oakland Raiders, Lewis Neal might now have the upper hand in this competition.
Watch “dalvsoak lewis neal” on Streamable.
Finishing with two tackles for loss including a key fourth quarter sack, Lewis Neal made his case clear for why he should be on the 53 man roster. A former college defensive end, Neal has some pass rushing burst from the inside, and has been solid enough against the run this preseason as well.
Now that Cooper Rush seems to have overtaken Kellen Moore for the QB2 job, the Cowboys may be able to just carry two quarterbacks. This extra roster spot might then be open to carry Neal as a defensive tackle.
Plus, Neal was on the kick return team during the first half, a sign which points towards Neal making the team. Regardless of how the final roster shakes out, there is no doubt that Neal has outplayed his undrafted status, and deserves to be in this league.
If I were making the decisions, it would be tough for me to waive Neal and allow him to end up on an opposing team’s roster.