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Cowboys Need for a DE Hasn’t Been Talked About Enough

The Dallas Cowboys have a lot of positions to work on going into the offseason and we’ve discussed plenty of them. We know safety has been a team need for a long time. Cornerback, defensive tackle, wide receiver and even tight end have also been thrown around as the team’s main needs. But have we mentioned defensive end enough?

DeMarcus Lawrence was often criticized for some of the Cowboys’ defensive woes, but the truth is he kept his level of play up. If you’re judging by the number in the sacks column, you might be quick to say otherwise. But when looking at more advanced pass rushing stats, it’s clear he was still playing at a great level.

On the other side of the defensive line, Robert Quinn was big for the Cowboys in 2019. He came in via a trade with the Miami Dolphins that cost Dallas a sixth round pick and a new contract for Quinn. He turned out to be a major bargain.

According to ESPN’s Pass Rush Win Rate, Quinn led all edge rushers with 33%. No other defender had a better percentage than 28%. When facing single blocks, only two defenders in the NFL had a win rate of over 32.5%, one of which was Quinn. The other was some kid named Aaron Donald.

Quinn will be 30 years old when the 2020 season comes around, so trying to keep him should be the plan for the Cowboys. There’s no questioning that. However, will they be able to? Quinn was seriously impressive last season and will be looking for a juicy contract. It’s not like Dallas’ to-do list before free agency is short.

They’ll be spending big money if they are to keep Amari Cooper, Byron Jones and obviously, Dak Prescott. If the Cowboys are not able to keep Quinn around, defensive end will make a considerable jump in the team’s priorities.

Randy Gregory could make a return at some point with the league expected to soften its stance on marijuana use, but we don’t really know that. The Cowboys should prepare thinking he won’t be available.

Be it through retaining Quinn, signing another free agent or looking for one in the NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys should be concerned about who will start at defensive end opposite of Lawrence.

Tell me what you think about “Cowboys Need for a DE Hasn’t Been Talked About Enough” in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!

What do you think?

Mauricio Rodriguez

Written by Mauricio Rodriguez

I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @MauNFL.


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  1. I would be in favor of paying Quinn over Byron Jones. Every time I would watch a Cowboys game I would hear people rave about Jones and his cover skills but it has never translated to interceptions. Maybe it is an overall technique thing or a defensive mindset for all of the db’s but for some reason this team, for many years now, does not take the ball away in the air. I am hoping a new set of defensive coaches can change this. To many times I see our corners not playing the ball. In an era where it is very difficult to play the man because of ticky tack penalties I think there needs to be greater emphasis on db’s knowing where the ball is and making a play on it.

    • Coverage skills isn’t about interceptions. You should be asking yourself if how often is Jones thrown at, what is the production of those throws and how does it compare to other DBs.

      Most INTs are result of mistakes made by the offense because the DL disrupts the rhythm of the play.

      You must also understand that the Dallas DBs were asked to not watch the CB and react to the WR reacting to the ball. This put Jones at a disadvantage when it comes to getting INTs. He didn’t make that All- Pro team in 2018 because he is a below average CB

  2. I said the day the traded for Quinn to sign him because it would the cheapest he will be.

    Aren’t we glad Taco is gone? He had 21 tackles, 5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles in 8 games with Miami. When will anyone admit that the defensive coaching staff was a joke?

  3. Anybody that questions the play of Lawrence in 2019 clearly wasn’t watching the games. Stellar play shows up in other areas than the sack column. D-Law you just keep doing you!

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