Position battle: Josh Brent makes plays

SAN ANTONIO – The battle for the backup nose tackle job is on.

Supplemental seventh-round pick Josh Brent has been disruptive despite wearing a cast to protect his broken left hand. It’s probably not a coincidence that incumbent Junior Siavii had his best practice Thursday after seeing Brent made some plays.

Siavii, who Pasqualoni describes as “steady,” is a run stuffer who holds his ground in the middle. The 6-foot-2, 312-pound Brent is the type of nose tackle you notice creating problems in the backfield.

“He’s got explosiveness,” defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni said. “He’s got quickness in his feet. He’s got quickness in his hands. He’s got good flexibility. He’s got a knack for playing with leverage. He’s one of those bigger guys that can play with his knees bent low to the ground in a leverage position, which means he has the ability to get under the pads of the blocker.”

Pasqualoni called Brent “raw” and said the rookie is adjusting to the technique the Cowboys want him to play. Pasqualoni added that there have been plays when Brent has been knocked off balance.

However, Pasqualoni acknowledged that Brent’s performance with a cast on has been impressive.

“He’s doing pretty good,” Pasqualoni said, “but he’s got a ways to go.”