Sat, 31 Jul 2021

Role Call: What Is Brent Urban's Fit

Dallas Cowboys
15 Jun 2021, 04:24 GMT+10

David Helman

(Editor's Note: With the offseason program in the rearview mirror, it's time to look ahead. As part of the preparation for training camp, this series will introduce 25 key players who are new to the Cowboys' roster, rookies and veterans alike. We'll start things off with defensive lineman Brent Urban.)

How He Got Here: The Cowboys made Urban one of their first signings of the 2021 league year, inking him to a one-year contract on the second day of free agency.

As native of Mississauga, Ontario, this will be Urban's fourth NFL team. He was originally drafted No. 134 overall by Baltimore in the 2014 NFL Draft. He played five seasons with the Ravens before signing with Tennessee, where he was released just one month into the 2019 season. From there, he was picked up by Chicago and revitalized his career with the Bears.

Over the last two seasons, Urban played 25 games for the Bears and made eight starts, collecting 36 tackled and 2.5 sacks.

What's Next: It's hard to easily classify Urban's job description, because he's done so much over the course of his career. He's played end and tackle at various points during the last seven years, but he did make it clear during the spring that he's here to help serve as a base end in defensive coordinator Dan Quinn's new scheme.

It's clear from watching spring practices that Urban can move around in a variety of looks, depending on whether the Cowboys are using a three-man or four-man front. Regardless of where he lines up, his ability as a run-stopper will give him a chance at plenty of playing time - and perhaps even a starting role. Pro Football Focus graded Urban as the third-best run defender among defensive tackles in the league last year - which is exactly the skill set this defense needs.

Bet You Didn't Know: Given that he is a native Canadian, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Urban was on the radar of the Canadian Football League during his college career. He was actually drafted in the second round, No. 15 overall, by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats during the 2013 CFL Draft. Ultimately, it was a gamble that didn't pay off for the Tiger-Cats, as Urban returned to school for his senior season at Virginia and entered the NFL draft the next spring.

Alongside fellow defensive tackle Neville Gallimore, Urban is the second Canadian on the Cowboys' roster.

Quotable: "I do a good job being stout up front, taking on double teams and doing the dirty work to allow those guys to run free. That's part of the reason I came here. It seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to continue to do that and help elevate this defense and allow the athletes to be athletes." - Brent Urban

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