*Editor's Note: Throughout the off-season, DallasCowboys.com staff writers will take a closer look at the roster, analyzing players' impact last season and how each fits into the team's 2015 plans. Today's Roster Rundown entry features defensive end Jeremy Mincey.*
Name: Jeremy Mincey
Position: Defensive End
Height/Weight: 6-4 / 280
Experience: 7 seasons
Key stat:When the Cowboys signed Mincey, who happened to wear No. 94 in Denver, he was immediately linked to the defensive end that also wore that number who was released and signed by the Broncos. While Mincey shouldn't be compared to Ware, he did provide ample pressure, leading the Cowboys in 2014 with 39 quarterback pressures. In 2013, Ware led the Cowboys with 40.
Contract Status:Signed through 2015.
2014 Impact: When Jeremy Mincey was signed before the 2014 season, I viewed the move as the front office adding a player to be a bridge to get to the next one. In this case it was to hold the fort until DeMarcus Lawrence was ready. Where I was wrong about Mincey is that he was more than just that bridge player, and even if Lawrence had not been injured during training camp, I believe that Mincey would have continued to hold down the starting job. Next to Tyrone Crawford, he was the most consistent defensive linemen the club had on the field -- and when I say consistent, I am talking about his toughness and the manner in which he carried out his assignments. Mincey might not be the most athletic player along this front, but when it came to rushing the passer, there were snaps where he was the only thing they had. I recall key pressure in the Houston and Seattle games where through sheer effort and power he was able to be a disruptive player. Down after down he was as relentless as they come. Power was impressive. In the running game he could hold the edge and not wear down. He can really anchor down at the point of attack. It was rare that you saw him physically just get beat. He has to play with this type of attitude due to his physical limitations as an athlete. Is not going to be that explosive player in regard to capturing the corner like Spencer, Selvie or Lawrence would. Mincey is a pro's pro in his approach to his job and what he brings to that locker room and practice field each day. He's a leader in every sense of the word.
Where He Fits: He was a very effective starter that has his physical limitations, but he manages to make it all work. I'm surprised that he has done as well as he has due to those limitations and what is asked of him to play in this scheme. Would not have been the type of player that I believed would have been a Rod Marinelli-type of guy, but I couldn't imagine where this defense would have been without him on that right side at end. Could see the club trying to get one more season out of him possibly on that left side while DeMarcus Lawrence starts on the right. There is also a chance to see him work some at defensive tackle as a rusher in the nickel, because I had seen some snaps where he didn't look out of place in that role at all. Like Justin Durant, he was a far better player than I was willing to give him credit for.
Nick Eatman: What a great free agent signing by the Cowboys, especially considering what they lost and what they needed on defense. Not only did they need a pass-rusher, but defensive leadership once Sean Lee went down. If anything, Mincey had been to the playoffs with Denver and knew what it took to get there. Each week, it seemed like he kept getting better and better in his role. Even when they needed a right-side rusher after Lawrence went down and Spencer wasn't ready, Mincey trimmed a few pounds and was able to play on that side. He's a pro's pro in every way and a great player for this defense. He's not going to be the pass-rushing menace like Ware or other greats, but he can get to the quarterback and will only get better in Marinelli's system.