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After a relatively uneventful end to the 2023 season, a Cowboys defensive tackle has been labeled as a potential breakout player.

After a relatively quiet end to the 2023 season, a defensive tackle for the Dallas Cowboys is now being predicted to have a significant improvement in the 2024 season.

Cowboys fans are already familiar with DT Osa Odighizuwa, but the experts at PFF believe that he could soon make a name for himself on a national level.

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In a recent article highlighting potential breakout stars for the 2024 season, Odighizuwa was specifically mentioned for the Cowboys.

The article mentions the 25-year-old’s impressive start in 2023, and despite a decrease in production, he continues to receive good ratings.


“The article from January 26 states that Odighizuwa only managed to achieve three sacks throughout the year, all of which were in the first two weeks of the season.

He has never ended a season with more than four sacks,” it reads. “However, he finished as the 15th highest-rated interior defensive lineman (81.4) with the 12th best PFF pass-rush grade (80.0).

As long as he continues to maintain strong underlying metrics, he is expected to achieve even higher sack numbers in future seasons.”
Odighizuwa has added another threat to the Cowboys’ already impressive defensive line.

While Micah Parsons and Demarcus Lawrence receive recognition on the edge, Odighizuwa disrupts from the interior.


Odighizuwa’s Career So Far
As a defensive tackle, even obtaining a few sacks per season is significant, and Odighizuwa has accomplished this twice. Over the past two seasons, the former UCLA Bruin has achieved a total of 7 sacks, and he has also contributed in other aspects of the game.


According to Pro Football Reference, he recorded 9 tackles for loss in 2023. To put it into perspective, only Parsons and Lawrence had more on the Cowboys’ roster.

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Although it was disappointing that he didn’t earn any sacks after Week 2, he still managed to accumulate 13 quarterback hits.


It is challenging for a player who is 6’2″ and weighs 280 pounds to sack modern quarterbacks. What teams are primarily interested in seeing is a player who can push interior linemen back into the pocket.

If a quarterback is unable to step up into the pocket to make throws, he will face difficulties.
So far, Odighizuwa has been able to provide this contribution.

However, if PFF’s assessments and analysis are accurate, he could be in for an exceptional season in 2024.


Cowboys DT in His Final Contract Year
One of the reasons why 2024 could be a breakout season for Odighizuwa is because it will be the final year of his contract.

After completing his rookie deal, he will become a free agent in 2025 and will be looking to secure a lucrative second contract in the NFL.


That being said, the Cowboys may consider rewarding him early as a means to potentially save money. Odighizuwa has shown potential in his first three years but has not yet experienced a breakout performance.


The main issue with this approach is the team’s current cap space situation. Dallas is currently $11.5 million over the 2024 cap limit, though player releases and restructures can help address this. However, considering the need to pay players like WR CeeDee Lamb, contracts like Odighizuwa’s are not the top priority.


Regardless, it creates an interesting situation for both the Cowboys and the defensive tackle. He has plenty to prove on the field, and Dallas has much to consider as they approach the 2024 season.

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