The pads won't come on for the Dallas Cowboys at training camp in Oxnard until later today, but that hasn't stopped newfound excitement for a suddenly deep group of defensive ends from building up steadily for Cowboys Nation.
The Cowboys' missing piece for more than a few seasons now has been that dominant pass rusher, particularly one that can pressure the quarterback off the right edge. Benson Mayowa did come on strong to lead the team with six sacks at the end of 2016 from this RDE position, and so far in camp he's been joined by a healthy DeMarcus Lawrence, red shirt rookie Charles Tapper, 2017 first round pick Taco Charlton - and under-the-radar FA acquisition Damontre Moore.
Good eye. I tweeted that during Mini Camp but no one caught on. https://t.co/xOPRX62sPm
Damontre Moore has quickly made a strong impression on the Cowboys' coaching staff, getting work as a DE and special teams player during OTAs before apparently throwing his name into the competition for SAM LB at camp. With some 3-4 outside linebacker experience dating back to his college career at Texas A&M, Moore has yet to find his footing in the NFL thanks to behavioral and locker room issues.
Now getting the best chance of his pro career to put everything together at just 24 years old, Moore is looking like an excellent addition to Rod Marinelli's front seven.
If his rotational ability as an explosive pass rusher was not enough for Damontre to make a final roster that will undoubtedly have to move on from some edge rushers, Moore's ability to play some situational LB with the same burst and range will assuredly earn him his star.
Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones on @1053thefan talking about DE Damontre Moore:
It may seem like a depth chart too good to be true this early into camp, with a free agent that garnered little league-wide interest coming in to play as a weak side DE and strong side LB, but these roles makes a lot of sense for Moore considering how the rest of Dallas' defensive line is built.
The LDE position projects to be filled again this season by Tyrone Crawford, David Irving (following a four game suspension), and Taco Charlton. As one of their key strengths, all three players provide exceptional leverage and support against the run which will allow a player like Moore to naturally burst to the ball as a SAM if called upon.
Plenty of other defensive ends and linebackers are going to be competing for playing time over the remainder of camp and deep into the preseason, and we are still awaiting news on a potential Damien Wilson suspension - the third-year linebacker that has been practicing every day as the projected starting SAM.
Damontre Moore has done nothing but help his cause from the second he joined the Cowboys though - including working on a new position of need in the silver and blue.
Report: Raiders Sign Former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber
A Free Agency period filled with departures continued for the Dallas Cowboys today, as the Oakland Raiders have reportedly signed the now-former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber.
The Raiders have signed LB Kyle Wilber: https://t.co/TaC6cqjval
Wilber has been with the Cowboys since 2012, and has played in all 16 games four of the past five seasons. Most of his time has come on special teams, but he did provide solid linebacker depth for the Cowboys since joining the team.
Dallas has now lost both Wilber and Anthony Hitchens, depleting their linebacker depth even further over the last couple weeks.
The Raiders have now signed two key special teams contributors for the Cowboys in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber this offseason. Hopefully Dallas can replace these types of "replacement level" players throughout the rest of the offseason, especially during the NFL Draft.
Report: Cowboys Officially Release CB Orlando Scandrick
After requesting his release from the team just a few days ago, Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick has gotten his wish. According to ESPN's Josina Anderson, Scandrick has officially been cut by the Dallas Cowboys.
I'm told the #Cowboys have informed CB Orlando Scandrick he will be released, per source.
This move will reportedly save the Cowboys roughly $1.4M against the salary cap, as we hope they finally look to make some moves during the Free Agency period.
Scandrick's release comes after an offseason in which the Cowboys totally overhauled the back end of their defense, specifically their cornerbacks. With the emergence of young, promising players such as Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, and the health issues of the aging Scandrick, the move makes a lot of sense.
In fact, after the Cowboys drafted Awuzie in the second round of last year's draft it was rumored the Cowboys were looking to move Scandrick for extra draft picks. Instead, one year later, they have cut him to save some cap room.
Orlando Scandrick should have a market to find a new team elsewhere, but his time in Dallas has now come to a close.
Dallas Cowboys Restructure Travis Frederick’s Contract, Clear Cap Space
Patience is a virtue for football fans everywhere this time of the year, especially those of the Dallas Cowboys. A team known for using free agency to deal with their own expiring contracts and players, Cowboys Nation has been anxiously awaiting an addition to improve this roster before the draft. While the wait will continue for outside help in Dallas, the Cowboys have created $7.5 million in cap space by restructuring the contract of Center Travis Frederick.
C Travis Frederick will restructure his deal to help clear up roughly 7.5M in cap space for the #Cowboys per source informed
Restructuring the contracts of their cornerstone players is nothing new for the Cowboys. Rarely doing so with a clear "next move" in sight, the market for top FA talent at WR and OL may have already passed the Cowboys.
Having the space to negotiate with available players now opens the door just slightly further for Earl Thomas or Tyrann Mathieu acquisitions to become realistic. Reportedly, the Cowboys have inquired about both safeties (Thomas via popular trade talks and Mathieu as a free agent, released by the Cardinals) and have been met with price tags the Jones' were forced to turn away.
Giving up assets for players that will warrant large future contracts is not currently the Dallas Cowboys' way, but being able to sign somebody in free agency has been. To avoid a repeat of 2017, a season arguably derailed as soon as the team's free agent class failed entirely, the Cowboys will need to find proven players that can contribute on the market in the coming weeks.
With the help of the anchor to their star-studded offensive line, the Cowboys can come to this market with slightly thicker wallets now. Keep the optimistic tweets alive, and tip Travis Frederick accordingly.
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