If Cedric Thornton and Stephen Paea are the best options at nose tackle, do they have the consistency to stop the run playing at 300 pounds? Shouldn’t we get a big-bodied player in there close to 325 or higher?
Bryan: This defense was first in the NFL against the run last season without a 325 pounder inside. It’s about the combination of players you have in those spots and not just one guy. I like what I’ve seen over the years from Paea playing the run and pairing him with Maliek Collins should be a nice fit. Both play with upper and lower body power which is the key to playing at the point of attack.
Nick: First of all, I’ve agreed with your point for many years. And while last year’s success against the run might prove both of us wrong, I do agree with the notion of having some big pluggers in the middle. We all saw what the Giants did last year and it definitely worked for them. It doesn’t work for everyone because oftentimes players that carry so much weight can’t play as many snaps, which can affect the rotation. Don’t forget about Maliek Collins in that equation. He would play inside over Crawford although he’s not exactly a big-body guy either. I think if the right player comes along with that size, the Cowboys should do that. But Rod Marinelli seems like he prefers quickness over size from that position.
Why was Rod Marinelli so high on Joey Ivie in the seventh round? Is there something he sees that can help Ivie make this team?
Bryan: Coach loves players that are tough, brawlers and that is what Joey Ivie brings to the scheme – – there is nothing flashy to his game that scouts can point too. He will get plenty of chances to make the team with five preseason games but I believe it will be an uphill climb.
Nick: I’m sure there are a lot of reasons he was excited. Whether or not Ivie makes the team, it’s another high-motor guy he’s got to work with. And don’t forget this, in the seventh round, the more players you can draft and lock onto the roster, the less recruiting he’s got to do on the phone in rookie free agency. Once he got him, and then Jordan Carrell a few picks later, Marinelli basically had his nucleus of players. Now, I’m sure Ivie is a guy that Marinelli likes because he’s that hard-working, gritty player that is comparable to Nick Hayden.