Building The Cowboys Roster: "Pressure Fives" Available in the 2013 Draft
by rabblerousr on Jul 17, 2012 3:30 PM CDT in Dallas Cowboys General
Kawann Short celebrates after sacking OSU quarterback Braxton Miller
Watching the playoffs last season, I was struck by several weaknesses on the Cowboys' roster that the teams in the tournament could boast as strengths. Foremost among these was the lack of a pass-rushing 3-4 defensive end, or "five technique" on the Dallas roster. The general mediocrity of the Cowboys defensive ends was made chillingly clear when watching the likes of San Francisco's Justin Smith and Houston's J. J. Watt wreak havoc, collapsing the pocket and getting their hands in signal callers' faces. Here, on the screen, were five techniques with games that I didn't recognize form watching my favorite team.
A 3-4 DE who can also generate pressure (a "pressure five") can make life a heckuva lot easier for his fellow pass rushing outside linebackers. He can participate in stunts and other games; he can angle inside, collapsing the pocket from the guard's outside shoulder; he can take the tackle outside, creating mismatches by forcing a tight end or running back to take on the OLB on that side. Although Jason Hatcher, Sean Lissemore and 2012 draftee Tyrone Crawford show a modicum of potential, none of Dallas' current defensive ends - and particularly not veterans Marcus Spears and Kenyon Coleman - can be understood as pressure fives.
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And I think the Dallas brass knows this. In 2011 and 2012 drafts, they had opportunities to pickup top-rated pressure fives (in 2011, it was Watt; in 2012, they could have made a play for either Fletcher Cox or Michael Brockers) but, in both instances, opted for players at other positions, leaving the position bereft of a three-down difference maker. Thankfully, the 2013 selection meeting will once again present an opportunity for our Beloved 'Boys to add a pass rushing defensive end.