Cowboys have dwindling options on defensive line


The Cowboys defensive line situation was already a mess. And then it got worse.

After defensive tackle Ben Bass suffered a dislocated shoulder in practice Thursday which will cost him a month, the Cowboys have one true backup defensive tackle in Landon Cohen. And that considers the fact that journeyman Nick Hayden is starting for Jay Ratliff, who’s on PUP.

According to Todd Archer of, that means recent trade acquisition Caesar Rayford, all 6-foot-7 and 267 pounds of him, could end up playing inside Sunday against the Giants. Rayford led the Colts in preseason sacks (5.0), but that was as an outside linebacker in a 3-4.

He’s got to be viable for us at some point in this ballgame,” coach Jason Garrett said of Rayford. “Guys are going to have to play more, and some guys might have to play in a position they haven’t played as much as you’d like to have them play, but that’s just part of the deal.”

The Cowboys are also expected to be without Anthony Spencer, who hasn’t practiced since having knee surgery July 25, and lost Tyrone Crawford for the season due to a training camp Achilles tear.

18 responses to “Cowboys have dwindling options on defensive line

  1. I’m convinced that if we would have drafted Shariff he would be on the IR by now. Our d-linemen must be cursed. Rayford looks good though so maybe he’ll do something.

  2. Should help the Giants ease in their two young guys, Brewer and Pugh. Sunday night Gmen Cowbys always makes for a crazy shootout, should be fun. Hopefully Gmen can pull it out bc next week comes big brother.

  3. Dear Mr. Goodell,

    Cowboys / Giants used to be one of the great slugfest battles of the year. Please, I implore you to cue up Classic Games on your network and watch the 1994 bloodbath Emmitt Smith shoulder game where the Cowboys took the division en route to their SB. Although my team lost that game and with it the division, it was a BEAUTIFUL game. Ebbs, flows, stops, field position, timely passes, strategy….it had it all.

    Unfortunately, with your complete castration of defenses (as evidenced by last night), the beautiful Cowboys / Giants battles of yesteryear have turned into a game of who has the ball last in tennis. With Dallas’ injuries along the D-Line and the Giants having zero linebackers worth mentioning, we are all expecting a 45-40 shootout that will do nothing but make the ff fans happy. This is not football and this is not fun to watch for REAL fans. I’d rather watch my team lose a game like in 1994 then watch a Romo/Eli video game shootout.

    Please…..give defense a chance. You can keep your ridiculous hitting penalties but at least rethink voiding the Ty Law Rule.

    Yours Truly,
    A real fan that spends 50x more on NFL merchandise than 10 ff fans put together and a fan that has one foot out the door on your league.

  4. bigdinla says: Sep 6, 2013 1:11 PM

    Damn it man, Wilson should be able to run for 300 yards.

    There may be space there on the right side, but I’d like to think the Rush Hour tandem of Lee and Carter would stop that.

  5. Works out fairly for both the Giants and Cowboys. The Giants O line is a mess due to injuries (two starters out) and the Cowboys D line is a mess due to injuries (two starters out). Linebackers for Dallas will have to pick up the slack and I think they have two really good LBs who can do just that, which ‘bigdinla’, is why I don’t think Wilson gets anywhere near 300 yards (which is a shame because he’s my ‘flex’ player in my fantasy FB league).

    Should make for an interesting coaches duel, although I tend to think that the discontinuity is worse for an O line.

  6. Justified by God,

    Yes, they traded Lissemore, but that was because he’s a 3-4 DE and did not make the transition to 4-3 DT (3T) very well and can’t play 4-3 DE at all. He was beaten out by Nick Hayden and Cohen so Dallas traded him (got the 7th rd pick they used to draft him back). I don’t see that as a ‘mistake’ by Dallas, which I think you were implying in your comment. The 6’7″ guy they traded for is better than Lissemore at DT.

    If they hadn’t traded him they would have cut him to get to 53. Which is a shame because I always liked the guy, high motor, clean living. He just isn’t a 4-3 DT. He’s better off playing 3-4 DE for the Chargers.

  7. releasetheorakigan says: Sep 6, 2013 1:51 PM

    Not cursed…just old and lacking quality depth. Reminds of when Vinny said we had a playoff roster.

    So how deep does a roster have to be to be ‘quality depth’ for you? The 1st string guy is hurt, the 2nd string guy is now hurt. How many teams are 3 deep with great players at one position?

  8. No one should have expected the often injured and troubled Ratliff to be available when they need him. Trading away Lissemore looks pretty ridiculous right now.

    Rayford had an impressive preseason in a DE role but to move him inside to DT is crazy.

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