Dallas Cowboys
Jerry Jones: Defensive line is now a strength
Dallas Cowboys

Jerry Jones: Defensive line is now a strength

Published May. 15, 2015 3:20 p.m. ET

After losing DeMarcus Ware, many expected the Dallas Cowboys to have one of the worst defensive lines in the NFL in 2014. Although they finished near the bottom of the league in sacks, their defensive line racked up constant quarterback pressures and hits. The sack statistic gets all the glory, but it's the latter two that really disrupt an opposing passing game. Now, after adding Greg Hardy and Randy Gregory this offseason, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones sees the defensive line as a strength.

"When I look at what we got out of Tyrone Crawford last year on the interior, when I look at how Terrell McClain came along, when I look at the interior, then I actually think that with the personnel we've got competing with them and behind them, I think we got real good inside push or rush that exceeds last year," Jones said, per ESPN.com. "I look to the outside and I see the numbers we've got. I see the potential to have a rotation. I see the quality or the skill of those pass rushers out there and will say without hesitation we're dramatically better on the outside. Our coach will tell you that is to be seen. We've got to have the work that goes along with it.

"One of the things I like about the players that we're counting on is that all of them are exceptional effort guys, in practice and on the field. When I look at their unique skills as well as effort guys, overachiever types out there, every one of them, then we really have helped our pass rush."


Jones is not the only one who's excited about what this group can bring to the table in 2015. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli believes that the players returning to the defensive line have a great chance to improve with another year of experience in his defensive scheme.

"We've got a lot of guys back from last year," Marinelli said, pers ESPN.com. "Now we lost some real good men too up front, but the men that are back from Jack Crawford and Mince, some real tough guys, Nick Hayden and Terrell McClain. They were a big part of this thing in terms of developing a toughness and the effort of that group. As we bring more men in and we get some young guys from last year with a chance to display their skill, now it's still about heart."

In a short time span, Jerry Jones has helped turn the Cowboys' defensive line around through savvy drafting, timely free agent value signings and through the hiring of Marinelli to coordinate the defense.

(h/t CBS Dallas)

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports


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