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Cowboys Defensive Line Is In Worse Shape Than I Thought

Cowboys Blog - The Defensive Line is in Worse Shape Than I Thought

Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys Defensive Line Is In Worse Shape Than I Thought

When news broke of Randy Gregory‘s four-game suspension, that immediately sent a shock through most people’s minds. The Cowboys defensive line took a big hit and it led people to question whether this would impact free agency or the draft.

Stephen Jones has publicly said that the Gregory suspension will have an impact on free agency and the draft.

As is commonly known, Greg Hardy is a free agent, and is likely to have spent his last days with the Dallas Cowboys.

Well, what about the rest of the defensive line? This is a bigger problem than I thought.

Remaining players on the active Cowboys defensive line from 2015:

  • DeMarcus Lawrence
  • Tyrone Crawford
  • Nick Hayden
  • Jack Crawford
  • Jeremy Mincey
  • Casey Walker
Cowboys Blog - The Defensive Line is in Worse Shape Than I Thought 1

Tyrone Crawford takes a picture after surgery this offseason

The following players are on the injured reserve list:

  • Terrell McClain
  • David Irving
  • Ryan Russell
  • Chris Whaley
Cowboys Blog - The Defensive Line is in Worse Shape Than I Thought 3

Terrell McClain can be a big piece for 2016, but he has battled injuries the past two seasons

Then there are the practice squad guys such as:

  • Efe Obada
  • Michael McAdoo
Cowboys Blog - The Defensive Line is in Worse Shape Than I Thought 2

Efe Obada is an interesting story to say the least. Unknown at the time of signing and new to football in England, Obada shows the kinds of traits that can make him a success if developed

This list is problematic.

Only three players on the active roster are under contract for next season. DeMarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford and Casey Walker are the only players that finished the season healthy and active that are returning.

Not to mention that DeMarcus Lawrence is coming off of back surgery, something that is never good to hear, and Tyrone Crawford had rotator cuff surgery.

Four players ending the season on the injured reserve is a problem for obvious reasons.

You are looking at two premium defensive linemen that will return from last season and both of them coming off of surgery. The rest of your defensive line will be filled with practice squad level players and most of them are coming off of injury, too.

All-in-all, here’s the Cowboys D-Line for 2016, as it stands now:

  • DeMarcus Lawrence (Back Surgery)
  • Tyrone Crawford (Rotator Cuff Surgery)
  • Randy Gregory (Suspended)
  • Terrell McClain (Toe Surgery)
  • David Irving (Fractured Wrist)
  • Ryan Russell (Abdomen Injury)
  • Chris Whaley (Achilles Injury)
  • Casey Walker
  • Efe Obada (Practice Squad)
  • Mike McAdoo (Practice Squad)

Not only is that a group that doesn’t strike fear in many, there are a lot of issues plaguing each of these players. The defensive line will have to be addressed in a big way just to have some sort of a unit for next season.

Greg Hardy, Jack Crawford, Nick Hayden, and Jeremy Mincey are free agents.

I’ve been blogging about sports and music for almost eight years now. I also work in media relations for a New York sports team, so I understand the bridge between the outlets writing about a team and the team monitoring content.

I hope to bring something new to Inside The Star, getting deep into draft work, breakdowns and I always come with a strong and passionate opinion. I’m very active on Twitter, so ask questions, comment on stuff, etc. and I will almost definitely respond to you in some sort of debate!

6 Comments
  • Alan

    How was this left to get so bad over the years?

  • Alan

    How was this left to get so bad over the years??

  • Blue Star

    Because front office did not want to pay WARE.

  • http://www.pigskinhub.com/forum/index.php?forums/dallas-cowboys/ Jess Haynie

    Blue StarBecause front office did not want to pay WARE.

    That's not the whole story. Ware was going to count, if I recall, $16 million against the cap and they really had no choice but to cut him. He was coming off a bad year and they even offered to keep him at a reduced salary but Ware declined that. Both sides made business decisions and that's just how it goes sometimes.

    Also, let's not just assume that Ware would still be as effective as the top pass-rusher in Dallas. Playing across from Von Miller and with the rest of that defense certainly helped him a lot these two years in Denver.

  • Blue Star

    Jess HaynieThat's not the whole story. Ware was going to count, if I recall, $16 million against the cap and they really had no choice but to cut him. He was coming off a bad year and they even offered to keep him at a reduced salary but Ware declined that. Both sides made business decisions and that's just how it goes sometimes.

    Also, let's not just assume that Ware would still be as effective as the top pass-rusher in Dallas. Playing across from Von Miller and with the rest of that defense certainly helped him a lot these two years in Denver.

    Ware helped Von Miller more than Von Miller helped Ware. Thats just how I see it at least. Why sign these players to deals you never plan on ponying up the money? I really hate how the NFL does business. NFL just cannot get it right, it just SUCKS! Football pays crap compared to less popular sports in America. Before you say anything yes, they make more than you and me, obviously. Football players experience more injuries, more long term health effects, shorter careers but, its the #1 sport in America. Pay these men like it.
    Limiting rookies pay eerks me. Yes, some of the rookie contracts were bonkers, ex Sam Bradford. Maybe stop with signing these men to five year deals. Rookie deals should be three years with 4 year option that averages the top 5 players. Five years on a rookie deal is just too long. The player gets maybe one more contract and you're done after the rookie deal, its bull. That money is taxed hard depending on where they play. I don't blame these players one damn bit for playing harder during the contract year. Money is a hell of a motivator. There is never enough money unless you're Bill Gates.

    How the hell has Goodell make 180 million in five years. F the NFL.
    I had to vent. I just hate cheapness.

  • http://www.pigskinhub.com/forum/index.php?forums/dallas-cowboys/ Jess Haynie

    The debate on how much NFL players make is always interesting. I guess I've always looked at it from a "per game" standpoint. Last year Aaron Rodgers made about $18 million from his contract. LeBron James made about $23 million. But one guy only played 16 games and the other plays 82. Rodgers' regular season runs for four months and Lebron's goes for six-and-a-half. Rodgers gets time off every week while LeBron's on a four or five-game road trip.

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