Dallas Cowboys: How will Kony Ealy factor into the d-line rotation?


The Dallas Cowboys got a bargain player with some upside in Kony Ealy. How will he factor into the defensive line rotation?

With the signing of former Carolina Panthers defensive end Kony Ealy, the Dallas Cowboys are looking to catch lightning in a bottle. After a monster Super Bowl performance with a championship record three sacks and an interception, Ealy looked to have quite the future in the league.

Unfortunately, after fizzling out with the Panthers, Patriots and Jets, Ealy was far from a sought-after free agent in 2018. The Cowboys were able to snag the defensive end for a steal.

Despite the low price tag, it’s not crazy to think the former second-round pick could make an impact on the Cowboys.

Apparently, Dallas’ interest in Ealy goes all the way back to the 2014 draft. They were also interested in acquiring the defensive end after the New England Patriots waived him last season. They put a claim in for him, but the Jets ended up acquiring his services because they were higher in the waiver wire.

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Ealy only recorded one sack last season with the New York Jets, but he was playing outside linebacker in an unfamiliar 3-4 defensive scheme. Returning to a classic 4-3 defense should benefit Ealy’s natural upfield pass rushing ability.

Despite his less-than-ideal fit in the Jets’ 3-4 scheme, Ealy showed a knack for batting down passes. This is largely due to the fact that he was required to drop into coverage on some snaps, but his career-high nine pass deflections were still impressive, nonetheless.

And for the Cowboys, Ealy represents the exact dimensions of a defensive end in Rod Marinelli’s defense.  Listed at 6-foot-4 and weighing 273 pounds, Ealy is the big pass rusher the Cowboys so frequently look to acquire.

As for his role with his new team, Ealy’s versatility could help Dallas in a backup pass rusher role. He can play either defensive end position, and he’s big enough to slide inside if it matters. With the release of Benson Mayowa, the Cowboys could use another veteran defensive end in their rotation. As you can see with the Philadelphia Eagles, who have loaded up on defensive lineman, you can never have too many pass rushers on a single roster.

Next: Cowboys 2018 NFL Draft: 7-round mock 4.0

It’s safe to say the Dallas Cowboys are hoping Kony Ealy makes this team and becomes a valuable rotational player. And if he manages to put together games like Super Bowl 50, it will prove to be a shrewd bargain for a team that refuses to break the bank in free agency.