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How Will Lewis Neal Fit Dallas Cowboys Defensive Line?

The added depth to the strong interior of their this week, calling up standout and Joe Vellano to the . These moves were made to replace 1T DT , who's season came to an end with his knee suffered against the Chiefs.

and have stood out as starters at DT for the Cowboys thus far, and I profiled Collins' ability to transition to the 1T position vacated by Price in this Sean's Scout. When studying Dallas' win over Kansas City, the drop off in ability on 's when Irving or Collins were spelled by was very visible.

This is likely just part of the reason why the Cowboys, who rank 12th in rushing yards allowed per game, added Lewis Neal as a unique athletic player that can translate his talents to both the 3T and 1T positions with equal impact.

Neal's ability to explode into his blockers with controlled power and balance stood out all preseason, as he by overpowering the to eventually disengage and finish the play.

Across the board, the Cowboys have capable run defenders starting up front, with excelling in this role as a right . Neal has a real chance to fit this rotation as early as this week against the Falcons.

Stuffing a run against the Rams in the preseason here, Neal again shows off his rare combination of power and speed to win inside against the and make the play.

Lewis Neal had a case to make the Cowboys roster out of , turning heads as an undrafted rookie out of LSU. Neal was able to outperform two draft picks at his position, as the Cowboys moved on from seventh round selections and Carrell.

Now, injury has created opportunity for Lewis Neal, who will be a factor whenever given the chance to line up in Rod Marinelli's front.

Maliek Collins and David Irving will rarely come off the field at both positions that Neal has previously played, but when they do the rookie can instantly be a high-motor upgrade over Richard Ash – primarily on passing downs.

Preparing to play their next six games without Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys know that their defense will have to be at full strength to continue winning games and contending for the East. A suddenly productive defensive line that is helping the Cowboys win the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball will help, and Lewis Neal expects to be part of this unit now.

Getting combination plays like the one above from Collins and Crawford via the depth on their defensive line down to , , and Lewis Neal will go a long way these coming weeks.

Sean Martin
Sean Martin
Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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