How He Fits in Dallas: DT M. Stanley

The Dallas Cowboys picked up this tackle out of Louisville in the sixth round of the 2006 NFL Draft. How does he fit in with the team entering next weekend's rookie mini-camp?

DT Montavious Stanley Profile

There are two different kinds of defensive tackles.

One is the type embodied by ex-Cowboy La'Roi Glover: a lean, quick guy who relies on athleticism and technique to handle offensive linemen who often outweigh him by 50 pounds or more. The other is a player like Jason Ferguson, a massive wrecking ball of a player who is so powerful that he simply can burst through the offensive line, tackling ball carriers, flushing out quarterbacks and disrupting the offense's blocking schemes.

Sixth-rounder Montavious Stanley (6-3, 321) obviously is in the Ferguson mold. For the 3-4 Dallas defense to be effective, the defensive line must be big and physical, and the man in the middle is the anchor of that line.

For a player of his size, Stanley is surprisingly mobile; among his 48 tackles as a senior, he had 10 tackles-for-loss and 5.5 sacks.

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Like Ferguson, Stanley is a thick and powerful, and his center of gravity is very low in his massive thighs. One knock against Stanley is that at times, he plays too upright, which allows opposing blockers to get underneath his pads and knock him off-balance, or at least derail his momentum toward the quarterback or ball carrier, but that is something that in most cases can be corrected through coaching.

Stanley's arrival continues to underscore the Cowboys' obvious intent not only to make the defensive line better, but also substantially bigger.

In the last two drafts, the Cowboys have acquired three enormous defensive ends in Marcus Spears, Chris Canty and Jason Hatcher, and now added Stanley to a defensive rotation that already included Ferguson, Jay Ratliff and Thomas "Pepper" Johnson.

Especially in the 3-4, a big, powerful defensive line can make the linebackers and secondary much more effective, and Stanley clearly is seen as another piece in that puzzle.

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