DALLAS – The work that defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has done with the Dallas Cowboys is impressive. Quinn has instilled confidence into a unit that was severely lacking it prior to his arrival in the Lone Star State.

Micah Parsons catches all of the headlines — and rightfully so. It is more than just him, though.

Trevon Diggs emerged as a lethal ballhawk in the secondary. He earned first-team All-Pro honors with Parsons. DeMarcus Lawrence is as good as it gets at end. Jayron Kearse played a huge role last season and appears to be a perfect fit for Quinn.

Rising defensive lineman Osa Odighizuwa is another talent that has many people excited. Odighizuwa flashed lots of potential as a rookie and figures to be a key part of the Cowboys’ defense moving forward.

The Athletic tabs Odighizuwa as breakout player to watch.

NFL analyst Nate Tice is all-aboard the Odighizuwa Hype Train. Tice identified potential breakout players for The Athletic. The second-year Dallas defensive tackle was included.

As for Odighizuwa, fellow rookie and teammate Micah Parsons deservingly gets all of the headlines, but Odighizuwa contributed to a surprisingly strong Cowboys defense and pass rush as a rookie,” Tice wrote. “Though he finished with only two sacks last year, Odighizuwa’s pressure rate on his pass-rushing snaps (9.1 percent) was just behind players such as Cameron Jordan and Dre’Mont Jones and just above Jeffery Simmons’ 8.6 percent.”

The former UCLA standout showed the ability to be a difference maker for the Dallas Cowboys. He was strong against the run, while he also displayed some upside getting after the quarterback.

“Though Odighizuwa doesn’t have ideal size, he is also disruptive on run downs. He logged four non-sack TFLs last season, which tied for 28th among defensive linemen,” Tice wrote. “His disruption will be needed if an aggressive Cowboys defense that thrives on big plays hopes to come close to its 2021 production.”

Dallas has an opportunity to continue to improve on a strong defensive performance in 2021. Osa Odighizuwa will play an important role in how good the unit is in 2022.

Featured image via Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports