The Dallas Cowboys defense didn’t play to the level they did in 2018 last season. To make matters worse, they lost key starters Byron Jones, Maliek Collins, and Jeff Heath to the open market.
It didn’t take long for the Cowboys to retool, though, as they added veterans Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe, and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in free agency. During the NFL Draft, Trevon Diggs and Reggie Robinson were selected to bolster the cornerback position. However, Neville Gallimore and Bradlee Anae are both underrated steals who have a great shot at contributing early to the Cowboys front seven.
Gallimore enters the NFL coming off of his best collegiate season in terms of tackles for loss (6.5), sacks (4), and quarterback pressures (32). He’s incredibly fast for 300-pound man as evidence by his 4.79 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine On top of that, he forced five fumbles during his days at Oklahoma, and with new Defensive Coordinator Mike Nolan set to focus turnovers, he fits right in.
What’s most intriguing about Gallimore is his ability to play both the 1-technique and 3-technique. This will lessen the load on McCoy and Poe and keep them fresh while simultaneously providing Gallimore with the much-needed reps he’ll require to be effective. The Cowboys defense was gashed in the run game last season. Gallimore’s ability to disrupt will not allow offensive linemen to reach the second level and put a hat on the Cowboys linebackers.
Even as a rookie, Gallimore should see significant playing time in a rotation with McCoy, Poe, Antwaun Woods, and Trysten Hill.
During his days at Utah, Anae was a consistent animal. He registered 41.5 tackles for loss (4th in school history) and 30 sacks (school record, 4th in Pac-12 history). Also, much like his rookie counterpart Gallimore, he showed a knack for creating turnovers with six forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in college. This all led to Anae being a multiple-time conference All-American as well as a Consensus All-American in 2019.
Anae is a technician who uses a violent chop plus a dip and rip move to continuously apply pressure on the quarterback. He pursues plays like a lioness chases a zebra in the Serengeti with his non-stop motor. If you’re looking for versatility, look no more. Anae can not only put his hand down and rush from the edge in a 4-3 but he can get pressure as an outside linebacker in a 3-4.
Mike Nolan will run a hybrid scheme with different looks upfront. The 4-3 will still be the base but there will be 3-4 principles, including a designated pass rusher role, which fits Anae’s skills perfectly.
The sky is the limit for these two youngsters, and all signs point to them both having opportunities to showcase their talents immediately.