It is no secret that the Dallas Cowboys have question marks at defensive tackle.
Jay Ratliff, the veteran seventh-round draft choice in 2004 and former Pro Bowler, has dealt with injuries in recent years and has not been the same player that he was during his All-Pro days. Josh Brent is a roster cut waiting to happen, a move that is completely necessary for both the Cowboys and for Brent himself, and while the Cowboys do have Jason Hatcher starting opposite Ratliff – a 30-year-old who has really come into his own lately – there isn’t much beyond that.
Sean Lissemore and Tyron Crawford provide good depth, but there is a career starter on the market that the Cowboys should look to sign.
That comes in the form of former New Orleans Saint Sedrick Ellis.
Drafted seventh overall in the 2008 NFL Draft by the Saints out of the University Southern California, the 27-year-old Ellis would be a solid pickup for the Cowboys not only because he would provide the team with a capable starter if Ratliff happens to get injured again, but also because he would bring some stability to a position that is in need of some stabilizing.
While he has had a dip in production over the last two seasons since his career year of 2010, Ellis is a more than capable pass rusher with good size to fit the 4-3 scheme. He also is very good at getting up field and to the passer – evidenced by his six-sack season of 2010 – which is a necessity with a three-technique defensive tackle. At 6-foot-1 and 307 pounds, he has near prototypical size for the position, and his quickness allows him to maneuver well on stunt plays, which are also necessary in a three-technique.
So if Cowboy owner Jerry Jones desires, he could go the way of Ellis in an attempt to help solidify the Cowboys’ defensive tackle position for not just now but the future.
It would be a good decision based on the question marks that linger around the defensive tackle position, and the team’s need for more talent along the defensive front.