New Players Fail To Improve Cowboys' Worst Defense

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Jul 31, 2014; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys at training camp at the River Ridge Fields. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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Henry Melton (DT)

Melton has been the lone bright spot when addressing the starting defense with new players.  He began camp regaining his legs and form after rehabbing all off-season. The first week Henry traded wins with impressive rookie OG Zack Martin.

As Melton progresses, the wins are becoming more frequent and the addition is looking to be a real positive.  The problem is the under DT (3-tech) was formerly occupied by Pro Bowler Jason Hatcher.

Hatcher led the league in sacks from the under DT spot, so the addition is at best a push with last year’s results.

 

Jeremy Mincey (DE)

Mincey was added as a gateway at quick DE to provide rookie DeMarcus Lawrence time to work into the starting spot.  However, we were all lead to believe he would fill in well as the starter if Lawrence didn’t pan.

Now that Lawrence will miss at least 5 games with injury, the staff made it painfully clear they don’t want anything to do with Mincey rushing the passer at quick end.

Marinelli is turning to Martez Wilson for rush help, a poor man’s choice at best. Wilson had 9 total sacks at 3-4 rush OLB in college.  5 sacks in 3 NFL seasons.

Kyle Wilber is the next option.  Wilber was unable to succeed in this same role last year, which is why he moved to OLB in the first place.  This is a desperation move.

Mincey’s feet were put to the flame with Lawrence going down, and Marinelli burned him.  Which means he’s an early down option only and little help rushing the QB.

 

Terrell McClain (DT)

McClain was the talk of mini-camp in the Spring.  Playing the under (3-tech) DT for a rehabbing Henry Melton, the plan was to slide him over to the nose in camp.

Since early camp, McClain has been battling an ankle injury.  Even before injury, there were rumblings Hayden was keeping his starting spot at the nose.

McClain is great for DT depth, but his losing the nose DT battle has failed to upgrade the 2013 terrible starting defense.

 

Rolando McClain (MLB)

Signing the former 8th pick in the draft with little risk was a great move to replace the crippling loss of starter Sean Lee.  To this point the results have been fair.

McClain seems to have his head together, and his early play was on par with a guy who’s played little football the last 2 years and retired twice.

Just as McClain began to push veteran fill-in Justin Durant, he began to miss time with a sore knee.  To make it worse, the writers at the flagship site are beginning to praise Durant’s mediocre play, as they do with Jeff Heath and B.W. Webb.

With a month left, the slowing of McClain wouldn’t be concerning if Dallas wasn’t in dire need to close to the gigantic gap left between Sean Lee and Justin Durant.  If Durant holds on, the Dallas defense will be even worse than 2013.

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