On the surface it doesn’t look like the Dallas Cowboys have a pressing need at defensive end with DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory returning. However, with the loss of Aldon Smith in free agency, the Cowboys don’t have a pass rusher to help their starters if one is forced to the bench. Gregory will be a free agent next year and Lawrence will be another year older.
It might be time to start looking to add some highly productive youth to the position.
Though it may not take on as high a priority as cornerback, defensive tackle. linebacker, or safety, you can never have too many good pass rushers and there are several at the top of the second that could be good fits for the Cowboys.
Perkins comes to the NFL after three seasons at the University of Oklahoma. In 32 games (just six in 2020 due to a suspension), Perkins amassed 16.5 sacks and 32 tackles for loss. He was an incredibly disruptive presence for an Oklahoma defense that was not very good in 2018 but improved in each of his final two seasons with the Sooners.
Perkins can play as both a standup edge rusher or with his hand in the ground. He displays a good balance of quickness and power to get around the edge and is able to beat his man outside or with inside rush moves as well. For Dallas, he would fit in well as a weak side EDGE rusher, playing in a similar role to Randy Gregory.
He shows a strong ability to set the edge. Perkins shows good speed and determination in pursuit when the run goes away from him.
Perkins presence and play was a catalyst for an Oklahoma team that suffered two early losses in Big 12 Conference play to Iowa State and Kansas State. Though they held on to beat Texas in overtime, the Sooners’ defense didn’t really hit their stride until Ronnie Perkins returned to the starting lineup.
Ronnie Perkins’ suspension due to a positive drug test prior to the 2019 College Football Semifinal is a well earned stain on what was a fantastic collegiate career. He would be a nice addition around pick 44 as he’s a highly productive player with the skills to win in the NFL. His energy, physicality, and determination provide intangibles that will help him continue to grow and potentially be the best pass rusher from the 2021 rookie class.