Mincey a threat when he moves inside

OXNARD, Calif. -- Jeremy Mincey will start at right defensive end, but he is far from the prototypical speed pass-rusher the Dallas Cowboys want at that position.

Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli still believes Mincey can be a threat at third downs, just at a different position. Mincey will often slide inside to defensive tackle in Dallas’ nickel and dime packages.

“He’s got some real quickness inside as a rusher,” Marinelli said. “He’s got quickness, maybe not long speed. And real smart.”

The 6-foot-4, 280-pound Mincey has played end and tackle throughout his eight-year career. Many of Mincey’s 20 sacks, with a high of eight in 2011, have come as an interior rusher.

“I’ve always been a good inside rusher,” Mincey said. “That’s what’s kept me around the league for a while.

“I’ve got real quick feet. I was a hooper in high school and I use those same crossover techniques on the inside. You’ve got a short field of space. It’s a quicker route to the quarterback.”

Mincey’s interior pass-rush ability was on display during Thursday’s practice, when he dominated left guard Mackenzy Bernadeau in 1-on-1 drills.

Mincey’s ability to move inside gives Marinelli a nice rotation with 2012 Pro Bowler Henry Melton and Tyrone Crawford, another player capable of playing end or tackle in this scheme.

The problem is finding a pure speed rusher to play replace Mincey at right defensive end on passing downs.