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Who Will Replace DT Stephen Paea?

In the last few days a lot of news has been swarming around the Dallas Cowboys. Whether it's ' comments on the anthem, getting cut, or 's ruling coming from the court, there has been plenty to talk about with the Cowboys. One thing I didn't mention, from yesterday, is the announced of Defensive Stephen Paea.

Paea was one of the Cowboys' biggest signings from a need point of view. After signed with the division rival, early in , the Cowboys were left with no answer at the one-technique position.

Stephen Paea was supposed to be that guy. Unfortunately for him and the team things didn't work out.

In four games with the Cowboys, Paea had four starts under his belt. In those starts he racked up four total tackles. Paea obviously wasn't as productive as the Cowboys had hoped for and that was primarily due to a knee that eventually led to his retirement.

With Stephen Paea's retirement the Cowboys have a big hole in their at the one-technique spot.

Internal DT options for the Cowboys:

  1. Lewis Neal ()
  2. Richard Ash (Practice Squad)

Who Will Fill Stephen Paea's Role At Defensive Tackle?

David Irving played a majority of his snaps at the one-technique position last Sunday versus the .

While he did have a productive game disrupting the pass, the Packers gunning game seemingly had its way with the Dallas Cowboys front seven.

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Who Will Fill Stephen Paea's Role At Defensive Tackle? 1

Lewis Neal is currently on the Cowboys' practice squad and had one of the better training camps and of anyone along the team's defensive line.

Neal is really a three-technique, and an undersized one at that (6-foot-0, 298lbs).

The rookie from is primarily known for his ability to rush the QB and get into the backfield on a consistent basis. What he needs to do at one-tech is eat up double teams and keep offensive linemen from getting to the second level. That's something we haven't seen him do much.

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Who Will Fill Stephen Paea's Role At Defensive Tackle? 2

Richard Ash may be the least flashy player, but could potentially be the best man for the job. Ash, at 6-foot-3, 320lbs is a monstrous body in the middle of the defensive line. He does an excellent job of eating double teams and holding his ground at the point of attack.

Ash isn't a flashy player and likely will never see the stat sheet, but he will allow others to have success.

Now when we look at what this defensive line has done so far in the , it's clear that they've exceeded most people's expectations when rushing the passer. Through five weeks, the Cowboys are currently sixth in the league in and have the NFL's sack leader in .

What they haven't done very well the last few weeks is stop the run, and that's where Stephen Paea will be missed most.

When you look at our three options to take over, Richard Ash makes the most sense. But Lewis Neal will probably help you out in other aspects of the game. It's a tough decision and it's really a 50/50 chance on which decision the team will make, but if it we're me I'd go with Lewis Neal.

The Cowboys have to be a space eater, which is exactly what Richard Ash is. They also have David Irving and who can play one-technique when asked. I think Lewis Neal would upgrade this defensive line in both the run game and the .

Lewis Neal is much more explosive than Brian Price and will probably spend more time in the backfield. Using both Price and Neal at the one-technique will give the Cowboys a fresh set of legs and a different skill set for different parts of the game.

Who do you think is the best fit to fill Stephen Paea's role?

What do you think?

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Written by Connor Livesay

Born in 1995, loved Football but more importantly the Dallas Cowboys since day one. Living in Redskins Country flying the Blue and Silver flag as high as possible. Covering the Dallas Cowboys for InsideTheStar.com and CowboysNation.com. Catch me on twitter @ConnorNFLDraft!

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