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The Xs and Os with Greg Cosell: Why defensive tackles matter more than ever

In today’s NFL, with as much quick game as teams are using, it’s more important than ever to get to the quarterback as quickly as possible. Often, the shortest distance between the line of scrimmage and the quarterback is a straight line, and when your edge-rushers don’t have time to get home, it’s up to your interior defensive linemen to make those sacks and pressures happen.

It’s why the NFL has placed an increasing importance on those inside guys, and the money has gone up accordingly.

In 2019, there were 15 interior defensive linemen with in-season cap hits of more than $10 million, led by Aaron Donald at $17,108,000. In 2024, there are 22 such players. Now, a lot of those contracts are ones in which the cap hit happens to explode in this league year, but the point still stands – the NFL is placing an increased financial priority on interior defensive linemen. 

It’s also why NFL is paying more centers and guards more money and selecting more higher in the draft, as well.

In this week’s “Xs and Os with Greg Cosell and Doug Farrar,” the guys get into all the reasons why interior defensive linemen are of such crucial importance, the techniques they use to pester enemy quarterbacks, and the best players at creating pressure in the shortest possible time.

You can watch this week’s “Xs and Os” right here:

You can also listen to and subscribe to the “Xs and Os” podcast on Spotify…

and on Apple Podcasts.

Story originally appeared on Touchdown Wire