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Progress Report: Gallimore Ready To Anchor DT?


(Editor's Note: NFL rosters changewildly from year to year. This year will be no different, as the Cowboys seek to upgrade their roster via free agency and the 2021 NFL Draft. Still, a large percentage of their roster is already in place, and they'll have plenty of work to do to improve last season's 6-10 record. In the coming weeks, the staff of will evaluate those players who are already under contract, examining their past performance and future outlook. Today, we'll continue the series with defensive tackle Neville Gallimore.)

The Good: When the Cowboys drafted Neville Gallimore in the third round last year, they never dreamed he would still be on the board. In fact, when the Cowboys were to pick in the second round at No. 51 overall, there were plenty of discussions on whether to draft Gallimore or Trevon Diggs, who was the eventual pick. But landing Gallimore in the third round was an added bonus, especially since he would get the chance to learn from veterans such as Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe. For different reasons, those two guys weren't able to provide that kind of leadership but it took Poe finally getting cut for the door to open for Gallimore. The rookie from OU took full advantage. He showed why the Cowboys were so high on him. His quick first-step is abnormal for a 300-pounder. Gallimore found himself in the backfield a few times later in the season and was a handful around the goal-line.

The Bad: Not a lot to really list in this category. By the middle of the season, Gallimore started getting more playing time, especially after Tyrsten Hill's injury and then started the second half of the season. The only negative on his stat line might be that he had just 0.5 sacks as a rookie. Obviously, you'd like to see a few more there, but at his position, stopping the run is the top priority and he showed an ability to do that.

Best of 2020: His coming out party was in the first half of the Pittsburgh game in Week 9 against the then-undefeated Steelers. For Gallimore, it was just his second career start. But for a few snaps early in the game, it wasn't easy to tell the difference between the rookie and a perennial Pro Bowler. Gallimore was having his way with Steelers veteran Maurkice Pouncey. He was getting in the backfield, blowing up some runs that eventually forced the Steelers to focus primarily on the pass. Pouncey, who made his ninth Pro Bowl this year, eventually locked it up in the middle as the Steelers were able to rally and win the game. But it was the first time Cowboys fans saw how quick Gallimore was and what kind of player he could be.

Contract Consideration: For the Cowboys to get competitive and compete for playoffs with some of the huge contracts like the one they're likely going to have for Dak Prescott, young players such as Gallimore have to shine early. He's got three years left on his deal and will count just $1.06 million, $1.27 million and $1.41 million the next three years. He's a player that can help the Cowboys turn the corner if he can develop quickly while he's still on his rookie contract.

What's Next: It's a bit early to know just what the defensive tackle spot is going to look like. Tyrone Crawford is a free agent and there have been more than a few hints that he could be leaning towards retiring. Antwaun Woods is a restricted free agent. Trysten Hill is coming back from a knee surgery. But what we know is that Gallimore is slated to be right in the mix, and probably starting. If not, it likely means the Cowboys have added some veteran talent and drafted the position rather high. It's hard not to think Gallimore will be one of the key pieces to the Cowboys' defensive line in 2021.

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