At 0-6 this season, it’s pretty clear the San Francisco 49ers aren’t very good. And for as bad they’ve been on offense this year, their defense has been just as bad, if not worse.
One area where they have been strong, however, is on their defensive line. By drafting defensive end Solomon Thomas this year and defensive tackle DeForest Buckner the last, San Francisco has made a concerted effort to build from the inside-out defensively.
The first of those two picks, Buckner, has been straight up dominant at times this year and took it to the Washington offensive line a week ago.
According to Pro Football Reference, DeForest Buckner has been the second best interior defensive linemen in the league this season (behind Aaron Donald). Buckner looks to have found his perfect spot in this defensive on the inside, playing 3-technique and rotating on each side.
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Buckner has shown that he can be a game-wrecker, and will pose some problems for the Cowboys’ offensive line. Despite having two of the best interior offensive linemen in all football, the left guard spot has been incredibly inconsistent this season for Dallas.
It appears Chaz Green will be starting there this week, and he will have his hands full from the opening kickoff. Green does not do well against athletic defensive linemen, let alone athletic defensive linemen with the length and strength which Buckner possesses.
Green has struggled to keep his feet, and has often been caught leaning into blocks instead of driving his hips through contact. If he makes those same mistakes Sunday against Buckner, he is going to have a long day.
While I still like the match-up of Zack Martin and Buckner to go in the Cowboys’ favor, it’s hard to imagine the 49ers don’t do their best to line Buckner up against Green instead of Martin as much as possible.
If the Cowboys want to get back on track this Sunday and come away with an important win, they are going to have to get DeForest Buckner blocked consistently.