July 27, 2012

Fall position preview: Interior defensive line

Bill Young's interior defensive line lost a guy with 19 starts to his credit, including all 13 in 2011. Ordinarily, that is very bad news for a d-line and defense overall.

This is not an ordinary situation.

While the interior won't have Nigel Nicholas, he is still around. Nicholas moved out to his natural position at defensive end in spring football. It was - at the time - an experimental move that was contingent on Nicholas making the adjustment and others proving they were capable of handling the defensive tackle position he anchored in Oklahoma State's Big 12 Championship run. Both of those things came to pass, and the move looks permanent.

The biggest piece to the whole puzzle was mid-term junior college transfer Calvin Barnett proving that he was up to the task of stepping in and at least being able to be in the rotation. The Tulsa native did that and more. He heads into fall camp atop the depth chart at the position.

Next to Barnett, the Cowboys return the two players who shared starting duties in 2011.

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