As expected, the 49ers put starting defensive end Arik Armstead on injured reserve Tuesday. That, coupled with a calf injury to defensive end Aaron Lynch — who took over for Armstead in last week’s game — made the Niners' defensive line thin heading into Sunday’s game against the visiting Dallas Cowboys.
So, to fill the void, San Francisco signed a pair of veteran defensive linemen, Tony McDaniel and Leger Douzable. Tight end Logan Paulsen was released to create a second spot on the 53-man roster.
Both McDaniel and Douzable haven't been dynamic pass rushers, but they have been strong against the run in their years in the NFL, according to the analytic website Pro Football Focus.
McDaniel has started 43 games over the past four seasons, three of them with the Seattle Seahawks. He was with the Saints in training camp this summer, but was released just before the season opener. The 6-foot-7, 305-pounder was the ninth-best player in the NFL at his position against the run in 2016 according to PFF, and ranked No. 4 in the league in 2013.
Douzable, who came into the NFL in 2009 and was with the 49ers in this summer’s training camp, has played for four teams. In 2016, he played all 16 games for Buffalo and was fourth in the NFL as a run-stopper among 3-4 defensive ends. Douzable also played 44.7 percent of the Bills’ defensive snaps in 2016, the highest percentage of his career, according to PFF.
The 49ers have been a middle-of-the-pack defense against the run this season, giving up an average of 112.8 yards per game (18th in the league).
Though the 49ers will miss Armstead, the former No. 1 pick who also missed much of the season in 2016, McDaniel and Douzable figure to be solid additions as part of the defensive-line rotation. The 49ers also have lost linemen Tank Carradine and Ronald Blair to injury this season.
The 0-6 49ers host the 2-3 Cowboys at 1:05 p.m. Sunday.