Probably the biggest problem the Cowboys face is the shallowness of their defensive line, specifically the defensive end position. With Greg Hardy and Jeremy Mincey gone, and Demarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory facing four game suspensions, it is clear the Dallas Cowboys need help at defensive end.
Who will be available to rush Eli Manning against the Giants in Week 1? As of now, the starter at LDE is Ryan Russell, followed by Charles Tapper, Benson Mayowa and then Caleb Azubike. At RDE, the depth chart lists David Irving then Michael McAdoo and finally Neill Jason.
Luckily, with their fourth round pick, the Dallas Cowboys selected Charles Tapper out of the University of Oklahoma.
While some have criticized Tapper’s production at Oklahoma, it is important to note how the Sooners used him. Tapper was usually tasked with taking on two blockers to create opportunities for the Sooner linebackers instead of rushing the passer himself, as shown here when he takes on 78 and 56:
Tapper can play inside and outside. Even though he himself didn't do a lot of pass rushing, he still received accolades from conference coaches each of the past three years with first Team honors coming after the 2013 and 2015 seasons. He started 38 of 39 games during that time. He recorded a total of 136 tackles, 26.5 tackles for a loss and 15.5 sacks.
It's plays like these that get my hopes up that he can be a true three down DE.
To get there in the NFL, he'll have to hone some of his techniques. He tends to just bombard the the blockers with seemingly no real game plan in mind. While his bull rush is impressive, he will need to develop better hand play to be a consistent DE in the league.
On the plus side he has long arms, 34 ⅜ inches and had a 4.56 40 yard dash, one of the fastest in the combine. That's while standing 6-3, wieghing 271 pounds.
Because of his playing style and his ability to play inside and outside the defensive line, Tapper is comparable to Jack Crawford. If Tapper is to start week 1, he would have to prove, in training camp and preseason, that he's better than Jack Crawford or that he's better than the only player listed above him on the depth chart, Ryan Russell.
Because Tapper looks to be a work in progress, it could be a tall order to expect him to be a starter in 2016, even if both Gregory and Lawrence are suspended for the first four games. Tapper will have a great tutor in Rod Marinelli and if he found a way to work his way into the rotation, that would be ideal.
Assuming that Marinelli sticks with the 4 - 3 alignment, Tapper will likely be given the free reign to pin his ears back and rush the passer but probably only as a situational pass rusher.
BREAKING: Cowboys Sign Ex-Packers WR Randall Cobb
According to multiple sources, the Dallas Cowboys have signed former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Randall Cobb to a one-year deal to help bolster their depth at the WR position and potentially become Cole Beasley's replacement.
Cowboys are giving former Packers' WR Randall Cobb a one-year, $5 million deal, per source. https://t.co/8KWFPjSP8T
The Dallas Cowboys met with Randall Cobb earlier this week, but he eventually left Dallas without a contract. He must've had a change of heart or just needed time to ponder the Cowboys offer, but regardless of what transpired in that short time he is now part of America's Team.
During his time with the Packers, Cobb accumulated 470 receptions for 5,524 receiving yards and 41 touchdowns. The eight-year veteran will now be expected to replace some of Cole Beasley's production out of the slot for the Dallas Cowboys.
After years of watching Beasley as the Cowboys slot WR, it will be really interesting to see Randall Cobb in that role. He's not as quick twitched as No. 11, but can be just as dangerous due to his ability to be more of a down the field receiver. He also brings added value in the return game and could compete with Tavon Austin to become the return specialist.
This could mean the Cowboys forgo drafting a wide receiver early in the 2019 NFL Draft, but I wouldn't put it past them. Regardless of what happens, this is an excellent addition.
Welcome to Cowboys Nation Randall Cobb!
REPORT: Dallas Cowboys Re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur
L.P. Ladouceur is returning for his 15th season as the Cowboys' long snapper. The veteran free agent was re-signed by Dalals today to a one-year deal.
Thanks to Jason Witten's one-year sabbatical with Monday Night Football, Ladouceur has now been with the Cowboys for more consecutive seasons than any current player. He just turned 38 last week, but Louis-Philippe remains one of the top long snappers in football.
The Cowboys have signed long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur to a one-year deal worth $1.03 million and $90,000 in bonus money, but he will count $735,000 against the cap. This will be Ladouceur's 15th season with the Cowboys, tying Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Mark... https://t.co/2iDsi6RX7e
Retaining Ladouceur is an underrated move for the Cowboys given their situation at kicker.
Brett Maher was only 80% accurate overall on field goals last year. The team could be considering an upgrade in free agency.
Whether they bring Maher back or try someone new, having a long snapper with Ladouceur's performance perfection will make things much easier for them.
REPORT: Police Detain Cowboys DL Tyrone Crawford After Bar Fight
According to TMZ, Tyrone Crawford was involved in a brawl at a bar in Panama City, FL last Friday night. The Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman and team captain was detained by police but apparently was not arrested.
The level of Crawford's involvement has not been substantiated, but TMZ's report does have him shoving police officers at some point in the action. The incident was reportedly captured by surveillance equipment at the bar.
Given that he was not arrested, one could assume that Tyrone was not one of the primary players in the melee. But that doesn't mean the NFL won't still review this matter as it relates to the personal conduct policy, and Cowboys fans know too well how "fair" that process can be.
This is certainly not a story you'd expect to see attached to Tyrone Crawford, who has been a model citizen and leader since entering the league in 2012.
Dallas elected to keep Crawford this season despite solid potential savings. He will count $10.1 million against their 2019 salary cap, which is high for his average production. However, he can play multiple positions and is one of their most experienced players.
Even if Tyrone were to get suspended by the league, it likely wouldn't be more than a one or two-game ban given his record and reputation. It shouldn't change anything about his status with the team.
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