The Dallas Cowboys have been a bit unlucky when it comes to the defensive tackle position. That streak continued after Sunday’s big win over Kansas City.
This offseason, the Dallas Cowboys lost several players to free agency. Mainly to the defensive side of the ball. One of those names was defensive tackle Terrell McClain, who was arguably the best interior lineman for Dallas last year.
The loss of McClain started a run of bad luck for Dallas at the position. Soon after, up and coming star David Irving received a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance enhancing drug policy. Stephen Paea, the veteran free agent defensive tackle signed to replace McClain, up and retired early last month due to a chronic knee condition. And last year’s breakout rookie lineman, Maliek Collins, appears to be having a bit of a down second season at the position.
That unlucky streak continued over the weekend as Cowboys defensive tackle Brian Price apparently dislocated his left kneecap, requiring season-ending surgery. Dallas placed the 23-year on Injured Reserve on Monday. Price was signed off waivers from the Green Bay Packers prior to the start of the season.
Currently occupying the Cowboys depth chart at the defensive tackle position are Irving, Collins and Richard Ash, the latter was signed off the practice squad last month to replace Paea following his sudden retirement. Defensive end Tyrone Crawford has also shifted inside when needed in the past.
Through eight games, Price recorded eight total tackles and one pass defend as the 6-foot-3, 318 pounder was used primarily as a run-stopper. The Cowboys have just one defensive lineman on their practice squad, rookie Lewis Neal. But the undersized lineman (6’0, 290) is a better pass rushing three technique than a replacement for Price, a true nose tackle.
Instead, the Cowboys may opt to look to free agency to find a replacement for Price on their interior. Names like former Cowboy Sean Lissemore and Dallas’ 2017 seventh round pick, Jordan Carroll, are both currently available on the open market.
Another Cowboys’ seventh rounder from this season, rookie defensive tackle Joey Ivie, is currently on the Atlanta Falcons practice squad after being released by Dallas during final cuts. Ivie’s signing could make sense since the Falcons happen to be the Cowboys next opponent.