Let’s face it, the Dallas Cowboys aren’t exactly known for flooding their defensive interior with talent. Like many teams, the Cowboys prioritize positions. Some positions they invest heavily, while others they fill with stop-holes, long shots and timeshares. The defensive tackle (DT) position falls into the latter category for Dallas.
The days of La’Roi Glover and Jay Ratliff seem long gone in Dallas. Instead, the Cowboys preferred retreads like Terrell McClain, middlemen like Maliek Collins or has-beens like Gerald McCoy to populate the inside ranks.
Expect talented and intense competition at DT for the Dallas Cowboys in 2022
Typically, the pecking order is a well-established hierarchy entering boot camp. The number of legitimate challengers is limited and roles are defined before a single snap takes place. This season is a lot not the case.
Osa Odigihizuwa and Neville Gallimore are the clear favorites to claim the two starting spots, but how they split the responsibilities between each other and how they spin with the others is yet to be determined. Additionally, the level of talent at the top makes them a particularly intriguing duo for Dallas since the Cowboys rarely employ talented, up-and-coming players like these two.
Osa Odighizuwa, the expected 3-technique tackle, is coming off a stellar rookie season in which he established himself as one of the most effective inside passers in his draft class. He wore down considerably over the season, which is to be expected since he’s never played such a grueling ranged schedule, and his counterpart, Neville Gallimore, was also unavailable to take on a part. of the workload.
After a full offseason of weight and conditioning, the Dallas Cowboys expect Osa to take another step in his development and give the Cowboys something they haven’t had since the aforementioned La’Roi Glover.
Gallimore was supposed to be the breakout DT for the Dallas Cowboys last year – until injuries sidelined him before the 2021 campaign even started. In all, Gallimore only played five games last season, pushing back his next breakout year to 2022.
Destined to play more of a 1-tech role alongside Osa, Gallimore won’t get the opportunities he would normally see under tackle. But even at 1-tech, the Cowboys won’t ban him from blue-collar roles and responsibilities. They recognize Gallimore’s lateral movement, explosion, and penetration ability and will use it accordingly. Expect blurry lines.
Behind them, the Dallas Cowboys have a collection of bruisers who can work in rotation and take on that blue-collar role every defensive interior needs. Sophomore Quinton Bohanna is the trash can full of dirt plugging the holes. Rookie John Ridgeway provides the villain and, as he puts it, “breaks the neck.” And Carlos Watkins fills the gaps everywhere, up to and including the 2 gap game and even a defensive end.
Even former first-choice Trysten Hill could be in the mix. Although Hill has been a professional disappointment, his mix of size and speed is rare, and being in a contract year he knows full well it’s now or never.
As we have seen in minicamps, this is not a group to be taken lightly. Without an established veteran in place, each guy is competing to establish dominance. They compete with each other and against the offensive linemen in front of them. The level of intensity inside stands out and will likely carry over to other areas of the pitch during training camp.
This is one of the most talented and youngest DT units the Dallas Cowboys have brought to camp in years, indicating that health may finally be on their side and the potential is completely on the line. its peak.
As much as we love the rotation options and unit depth, it’s the top billing headliners that should get Cowboys Nation excited. Osa Odighizuwa and Neville Gallimore seem like the best couple we’ve seen in a while. Both have penetrating ability and are talented, hungry, and aggressive.
It’s these two rising players who will ultimately dictate the level of success of the Dallas Cowboys’ defensive interior in 2022.
Finally, a DT group to get excited about.