Corvey Irvin brings different element to DL

IRVING, Texas -- Even though the Dallas Cowboys do not play on Sunday, what would a week be without them adding a defensive lineman to the 53-man roster?

By signing Corvey Irvin on Tuesday, the Cowboys have added six defensive linemen to the roster in the past five weeks.

Irvin, 6-foot-2, 302 pounds, gives them something that Caesar Rayford, 6-7, 267 pounds, couldn’t: size.

With Jason Hatcher out, the Cowboys mixed in Rayford, Jarius Wynn (285 pounds) and Everett Dawkins (300 pounds) at defensive tackle against the New Orleans Saints. It was Dawkins' first game ever and Rayford and Wynn are defensive ends.

“I think as much as anything else, we like his athleticism but he has a little bit more size than some of the other guys,” coach Jason Garrett said. “I think that’s an important trait that we need right now. Our guys are doing their best to bring guys in who can help our team. I think they’ve done a really good job of that. I think our coaches have done a great job of coaching them up. This is a guy we think athletically fits into what we’re doing and maybe gives us a little more size in there to help us be a little sturdier there on the defensive line.”

Irvin has seven tackles in 18 games for the Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Defensive line coach Rod Marinelli has been in charge of the mix-and-match defensive line and has never been part of something so drastic.

“I just think you look for the best in every man,” Marinelli said. “That’s the first thing. It’s easy to look for what they can’t do and then guys don’t want to coach them. I have a tendency to find out what he can do. Maybe it’s from an attitude or movement or instincts. You don’t get to take him. I’ve always believed that you build a player from the ground, from your feet all the way up. And that takes a little bit of time to do that. So it’s just got to be speeded up, but I still try to do the same thing. And then you got to go reps and get the guys out. First of all, I think they have to see that you believe in them. And they’ll play hard.”