To say the Dallas Cowboys defense was gashed against the Buffalo Bills would be an understatement. They allowed 31 points and over 260 rushing yards on north of 5.0 yards per attempt. The sad part is it didn't matter whether James Cook rushed up the middle or outside.
While the Cowboys need to do a better job of containing the edge, it's clear they missed 320-pound nose tackle Johnathan Hankins, who was ruled out with an ankle injury and is likely to miss at least one more week, if not more.
The lack of presence along the interior allowed Buffalo's big-bodied offensive linemen into the second level of the defense, which put linebackers Damone Clark and Markquese Bell as well as Dallas' safeties into precarious positions.
The Cowboys need more from 2023 first-round pick Mazi Smith, but it'd be foolish to expect a first-year DT to make a profound impact.
With that in mind, it would behoove the Cowboys to give free agent Ndamukong Suh a call. Not only would Suh fill a (huge) need for Dallas, but he's begun generating interest from other NFC contenders. Beyond the NFC, Suh took a visit with the Dolphins on Wednesday, a few days before they lock horns with the Cowboys.
Cowboys should sign free agent DT Ndamukong Suh amid interest from other NFC teams
The 49ers are missing starting defensive tackles Arik Armstead and Javon Hargrave. Head coach Kyle Shanahan isn't sure when either player will return, but he stated the team hasn't discussed signing Suh. That could change soon after San Francisco allowed 234 rushing yards in Sunday's win vs the Cardinals.
As evidenced by their trade deadline move for DE Chase Young, the 49ers are always looking to get better. Armstead is nursing knee and foot injuries and has missed two straight games, while Hargrave left Week 13 with a hamstring injury.
It wouldn't be at all surprising if the 49ers revisited signing Suh, especially if their run D struggles persist Monday night against the Ravens.
The Lions are another team to watch. A former No. 2 overall pick of Detroit, Suh reportedly approached his former team about a reunion, but it didn't lead to anything. Like the 49ers, though, the Lions could change their opinion in a hurry and they'd seemingly be Suh's first choice given his ties to the franchise.
Even though Hankins is expected back before the playoffs, the Cowboys need another big-bodied defender to help them win in the trenches. It's why so many Dallas talking heads wanted the team to acquire another DL before the trade deadline: They don't have anyone on the roster with Hankins' size and it showed against the Bills.
It'd be foolish to expect the 36-year-old Suh to make a transformative impact, but the Cowboys don't need him to fix everything. Just another big body who can put up a better fight against physical and powerful offensive lines to make Clark and Bell's job easier in terms of filling gaps defending the run.
Keeping him away from the 49ers would just be icing on the cake.