IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys have agreed to terms on a one-year contract for veteran defensive tackle Nick Hayden, further bolstering their numbers on the defensive line and bringing Hayden back for a third season with the team.
The news comes one day after the team addressed the defensive end position by signing Pro Bowler Greg Hardy to a one-year contract. Hardy has been among the NFL's top pass rushers in recent seasons, with 34 total sacks in 39 career games.
The decision to re-sign Hayden isn't quite as flashy. The 29-year-old is more of a run-stuffer than a pass-rusher, as he boasts just two career sacks in 60 career games. Hayden has been the model of consistency since the Cowboys signed him in February 2013, however. He has started all 32 games of his Cowboys career, and he led all defensive linemen in tackles last season, posting 52.
Hayden fills a need for bodies on the interior of the Cowboys' defensive line, as Tyrone Crawford, Terrell McClain and Josh Brent had been the only experienced defensive tackles on the roster to this point. Hayden has been the starter at the one-technique in both seasons under defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli.
The signing should also start to clear up the Cowboys' gameplan for the defensive line as a whole in 2014. The addition of Hardy gives them a trio of talented defensive ends to work around, while Hayden's re-signing gives them numbers at defensive tackle.
Both positions remain prime candidates for attention in next month's draft, however.