Last year, the Cowboys, playing their first year in the 3-4, depended on veteran nose tackle Jason Ferguson for that role.
But this year, the team may look towards the draft to provide additional help.
Enter Michigan DT Gabe Watson, one of the biggest "enigmas" this week at the Senior Bowl.
TheRanchReport.com has learned the Cowboys have spoken with Watson extensively this week, including a 20-minute interview on Tuesday.
Watson, a 6-3, 341 pound monster, has been viewed as a enigma because his play during his senior year was inconsistent. His natural ability is obvious, but his reputation has kept his stock lower in the eyes of some draft experts.
Still, this week on the practice fields has clearly shown what he's capable of- and the Dallas Cowboys have taken notice.
Watson at the Senior Bowl.
Senior Bowl Notes:
Monday Practice Notes: Inconsistent all day. Looked heavy footed during drills and at times was easily locked up by opponents. The there were times where he showed great hand technique, defeating opponents and moving laterally outside the box to make plays.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Starting showing some explosion. Very strong and pushed offensive lineman around at all morning. Needs to keep his shoulders square when working down the line of scrimmage. Overall was near impossible to block one on one today, and arguably the best performance of defensive linemen today.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Strong as an ox, but showed trouble getting off of blocks today. Continued to see an explosive first step. There was even some hustle seen with Watson today and he pursued down the line effectively. The Tennessee staff even feels this 340 pound man is athletic enough to be the middle wedge on the back line of the kick return team.
Thursday Practice Notes: Showed the aptitude for reading a block, working across said blocker's face, and getting in to make a stop. Even registered a practice sack on a nice underneath move.
Analysis: The enigma of the week. Watson was everything he was touted to be BEFORE the season began. Big, strong, explosive, and un-blockable at times. The key was seeing Watson hustle on the field on every play. The question now becomes, was it enough for NFL teams to overrule his reputation?