Much was made over the offseason about the Dallas Cowboys' decision not to wade too deeply into the pool of free agents. Aside from quarterbacks Drew Henson and Vinny Testaverde, the team's biggest veteran offseason acquisition was defensive end Marcellus Wiley, who enters his eighth season after leaving the San Diego Chargers to sign with Dallas. Wiley's presence is expected to expected to greatly increase the team's pass rush, because he's a gifted pass rusher and because he will benefit from the decision by Dallas coaches to move Greg Ellis from left defensive end to the right side, where Ellis usually will face the opposing team's best blocker.
But the biggest beneficiary of Wiley's arrival might well be defensive tackle La'Roi Glover. The anchor of the interior of the defensive line, Glover has been a fixture in Honolulu each February, reaching his fourth Pro Bowl last year. But at 6-foot-2 and 285 pounds, Glover is
considered undersized for interior linemen, often battling guards who outweigh him by as much as 50 pounds or more. Wiley's arrival has
Glover sounding like a man who just got out on parole.
"I'm excited," Glover said. "Everyone's going to love Marcellus. The media's going to love him -- he'll give you some good soundbites. The
fans will love him, because he'll get to the quarterback. And we're going to love him on this defense because he'll free things up for the
rest of us. He brings a lot of energy and goes hard all the time, and the other team is going to have to account for him. That will make my
Glover said the defense will be improved this year, in part because the players have a much better idea what is expected of them.
"Last year, there was a lot of uncertainty with Coach (Bill) Parcells taking over," Glover said. "Now we know what's expected. 'Be ready.'
That's the biggest thing we (veterans) can tell the young guys."
At 6-4, 280, Wiley is two inches shorter and three pounds heavier than Ellis, whose longer frame makes him better suited to take on left
tackles -- often the opposition's biggest offensive lineman. At left defensive end last year, Ellis, who led the Dallas defense last year with eight quarterback sacks, often drew double-team blocking from opponents, who chose to single-cover since-departed right defensive end Ebenezer Ekuban. Teams also recognized Glover's quickness and
athleticism in the middle of the 4-3 Dallas defense and doubled him, as
well, either pairing the guard and center against him or by leaving an
extra back in the backfield to pick up Glover if he go through the line.
"Having Marcellus causes problems for the offense," said Glover, who
finished second behind Ellis last year with five sacks. "They can
double me, or Greg or Marcellus. But there's only so many blockers.
They can't double everyone."
With the success the Cowboys enjoyed last year, returning to the
playoffs after missing out on the postseason in each of the three
previous seasons, Glover said the level of expectations also has
"It's different from last year," he said. "Now it's not enough just
getting to the playoffs. We've done that. It's about winning the Super
Glover Excited About Wiley
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