Cowboys hoping Kony Ealy is another project that will pay dividends

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It goes back to 2014, when the defensive end out of Missouri made a predraft visit to Valley Ranch. Had the Cowboys not traded up for DeMarcus nfl jersey shop china Lawrence in the second round, Ealy might have been their pick. The interest continued into last summer, when Ealy was released by the New England Patriots; Dallas put in a waiver claim on him only to be beaten out by the New York Jets.

Under defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, the Cowboys have been able to rekindle the careers of defensive linemen George Selvie, Jeremy Mincey, Nick Hayden and Terrell McClain. They have taken chances over the years on former high-round picks like Marc Colombo and Rolando McClain and had some success. They are hopeful the process started last year with Datone Jones, a former first-round pick of the Green Bay Packers, and Ealy this season will yield similar results.

Ealy played mostly defensive end last season in the Jets’ 3-4 scheme. His experience in Carolina in a similar 4-3 scheme to the Cowboys should ease his adjustment.

“That’s always a challenge, when you’re talking about players you get from other teams, players you get coming out in the draft, what their exposure has been, what system they’ve played in,” Garrett said. “We’re fortunate that Kony has played in a system similar to ours in Carolina. We saw him as a four-down type of player coming out of school. So we don’t feel like he has any physical limitations. He’s been exposed to some different systems now as a pro, so we feel like that will benefit him.”

The Cowboys have DeMarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford and Taco Charlton at defensive end with Jones and David Irving offering position flexibility. Charles Tapper has played in only one game in his two seasons because of injuries. Randy Gregory, a second-round pick in 2015, could return from suspension as he looks to apply for reinstatement.

“One of the things we try to do with our team is promote competition at every position,” Garrett said. “That really is the reason for the decisions that we made in the offseason,nfl shop jerseys authentic to create a competitive environment at every position across the position. We feel like that brings out the best in everybody.”