You don't have to look any further than Calvin Barnett.
His second game as a Cowboy was hilarious. He's the only player I've ever witnessed get 30 yards of penalties on one play.
The rest of his career on the defensive line was anything but hilarious. He was a monster, arguably one of the best interior linemen ever at Oklahoma State.
And his absence might not be the most critical loss.
Anthony Rogers, Davidell Collins, and Ofa Hautau had the size necessary to spell Barnett and Castleman, necessary elements when your defense is on the field way more than most.
Barnett, Rogers, and Collins are done.
On the interior, the Cowboys are left with this...
|86||Cruse, Deonte||DL||6-0||290||SR||Murfreesboro, TN/Siegel/NEO A&M JC|
|70||Castleman, James||DT||6-2||296||SR||Amarillo, TX/Amarillo|
|96||Hautau, Ofa||DT||6-0||290||SR||Salt Lake City, UT/East/Snow College|
|97||Davis, Eric||DT||6-3||275||SO||Tyler, TX/John Tyler|
|46||Harrigan, Beniah||DT||6-1||225||SO||Piscataway, NJ/Piscataway|
|63||Hughes, Ben||DT||6-3||305||RS FR||Waco, TX/University|
|91||Taylor, Vincent||DT||6-3||278||RS FR||San Antonio, TX/James Madison|
|58||Ackley, Shawn||DL||6-4||265||JR||Cleveland, OK/Cleveland/Lindenwood|
Even though Castleman has been tagged as the #1 player for the Cowboys this spring, he and Hautau are the ONLY linemen with significant game experience, and Cruse and Hughes are the only others with the size necessary to anchor the interior of the defensive line. With only one DT signee coming in, OSU has some work to do here. This group is one injury away from being devastated. Joe Bob Clements has his work cut out for him with this portion of the defensive line.
Defensive end is another story.
|89||Wren, Sam||DE||6-2||255||SR||Palestine, TX/Palestine/Arizona Western CC|
|9||Tshimanga, Jeremiah||DE||6-2||230||SO||North Richland Hills, TX/Richland|
|38||Ogbah, Emmanuel||DE||6-4||270||SO||Houston, TX/George Bush|
|87||Irokansi, Victor||DE||6-3||240||SO||Pflugerville, TX/Hendrickson|
|95||Leveni, Vili||DE||6-3||255||RS FR||Hurst, TX/L.D. Bell|
|90||Clark, Trace||DE||6-4||250||JR||Wichita, KS/Collegiate School|
|92||Bean, Jimmy||DE||6-5||245||JR||Denton, TX/Guyer|
Every player has seen some game experience except Leveni, and the Cowboys have 4 DE signees coming in this summer, one (Trey Carter) with the size to contribute immediately.
Wren, Ogbah, Clark, and Bean were the main characters in 2013, and really started to establish themselves in the last half of the season.
Neither depth nor talent will be an issue for this group.
While Castleman returns to some acclaim and Hautau showed promise, there isn't any backup. It's going to be critical for Coach Clements to quickly establish an additional 2-3 players to help solidify the center of the defensive line, as this was such a strong point for OSU last season and was one of the biggest reasons for the defense's success.
One of my favorite Twitter mates and I had the following exchange about this post, which does give me hope...
@CoachHuddleston Yea, he's gotta chance to become the "In Wickline we trust" of the defensive side of the ball.— Robert Whetsell (@RobertW_CRFF) March 28, 2014
Right now his options seem limited. Let's all cross our collective fingers.
See our first installment of this series about the OL here.