Position Battle #2 – Defensive End
This is one of two competitions in camp that could play out so many different ways that it will make your head spin.
The Cowboys have what seems to be an endless number of names competing for the two starting defensive end spots.
While every single defensive end that makes the final roster will be expected to contribute (that is Rod Marinelli’s philosophy of keeping legs fresh and having a gang of “rush men” that are ready to fly off the line of scrimmage every play), it will be interesting to see how this position battle unfolds.
In all honesty, both defensive end spots are wide open when it comes to competing for the starting jobs.
The left defensive end, or considered the strong side defensive end, is normally a big and strong player that can anchor down at the point of attack to defend the run but is also capable of beating right tackles to wreak havoc on the quarterback.
The right defensive end, also called the weak side defensive end, is typically the most athletically gifted pass rusher on the team. His job is to fire off the ball with quick twitch ability and to use his hands and counter moves to beat left tackles around the edge and hammer quarterbacks from their blind sides.
It is possible that you see a completely different set of players at the defensive end spots depending on the down and distance- where the bigger and stronger ends will be in the game in running situations and the more athletic guys will come in on passing downs.
I know that defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli and owner Jerry Jones would love to find their “war daddy” that can take over a game and be a dominant every down player, and there are a couple of guys that will be given the opportunity to lay claim that role.
This is by far the deepest pool of talent at defensive end that the Cowboys have had in many seasons, no matter who ends up winning the starting jobs.