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Cowboys Taking a Leap of Faith on Benson Mayowa

Jess Haynie

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Cowboys Headlines - Cowboys Taking a Leap of Faith on Benson Mayowa

Who do you think the highest-paid defensive end on the 2016 Dallas Cowboys is?

No, it's not DeMarcus Lawrence. He's just in the third year of his rookie contract, counting a meager $1.5 million against the salary cap. Randy Gregory, also a second-round pick and in his just second year, is making a little less than that.

Obviously, Ryan Russell and Charles Tapper couldn't be it. They're also on their rookie deals and were taken in the fifth and fourth rounds of their respective drafts. Even if we count Jack Crawford and David Irving as defensive ends, they're both making near the league minimum.

Cowboys Headlines - Cowboys Taking a Leap of Faith on Benson Mayowa 1Making an average of nearly $3 million of the course of his new contract is Benson Mayowa, who signed with Dallas as a free agent last March. While not a huge contract by defensive end standards, it's still a lot for an undrafted guy with just two sacks in three years. It says just how much potential the Cowboys perceive in Mayowa.

Turning 25 in August, Mayowa has been a three-year backup; his rookie year with the Seattle Seahawks and the last two with the Oakland Raiders. He has one sack in each of the last two years. During that time he also started three games as an outside rusher in the Raiders' 3-4 defense.

Benson Mayowa played DE in college and will return to that role with the Cowboys. Dallas is clearly hoping that going back to his true position, plus getting coached by Rod Marinelli, will give Mayowa his best chance to succeed at the professional level.

How much do the Cowboys believe in Mayowa? Just to put the money in perspective; Mayowa has the 17th-highest average salary on the team at $2.75 million. Veteran starting safety Barry Church only averages $2.2 million. Cole Beasley, a proven roleplayer and a pseudo-starter for the offense, averages $3.4 million a year.


Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys Defensive End Randy Gregory Suspended 4 GamesIt's important to remember that Dallas knew about Randy Gregory's suspension in February. They'd also likely decided that they weren't going to bring back Greg Hardy. They perceived a need for a defensive end who could start and signed Mayowa, it would seem, to be that guy.

After all, it's not like Gregory is a guarantee to start once he comes back from the suspension. Not only has he yet to prove himself in real NFL action but one more marijuana-related violation gets him a 10-game ban.

The cupboard wasn't exactly bare before Mayowa was signed, though. I actually was excited for what David Irving or Jack Crawford might do at defensive end. There were also some flexibility options to use Tyrone Crawford at DE for four weeks.

Clearly, Dallas liked something about Benson Mayowa beyond just a role he could fill. They paid him very well to become a Cowboy.

Now, with Lawrence joining Gregory in suspension, the pressure increases on Mayowa to live up to that contract. He needs to be a starter and contribute beyond just filling space in the front seven.

It never feels good when your team signs a player and your first reaction is, "Who?!" That was my first exposure to Benson Mayowa.

Hopefully, my next one will be a, "Wow!"


Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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Report: Amari Cooper Likely out for the Rest of the Preseason

Matthew Lenix

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Report: Amari Cooper Likely out Until Week 1

Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Amari Cooper is likely out for the remainder of the preseason according to ESPN's Todd Archer. He is currently dealing with a form of plantar fasciitis that has kept him out of practice since August 6th.

The three-time pro bowler changed life in Dallas last season as the team went 7-2 in it's final nine games after he was acquired to win the NFC East. Cooper isn't worried about any long term effects, though, as this is something he's familiar with.

"I'm not worried about it at all, because I know if it does linger, it doesn't matter," Cooper said. "I had 1,000 yards when I played on plantar fasciitis before."


The Cowboys host the Houston Texans this Saturday in what is known as the "dress rehearsal" game before the regular season. Starters normally play about a half of football to get the juices flowing for when games really count in September. Ideally, the plan would be for Cooper and Dak Prescott to get a rhythm of sorts before the season starts but that will have to wait until the team prepares to take on the New York Giants on September 8th.

However, the good thing here is this issue doesn't seem to be serious and Cooper will be ready for the start of the 2019 season.


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Report: Cowboys Agree To Contract Extension With LB Jaylon Smith

Kevin Brady

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Jaylon Smith, Eagles

The Cowboys are neck-deep in contract negotiations with some of their team's most important players, but it appears they have gotten one key guy signed this afternoon.

ESPN's Todd Archer is reporting that the Cowboys have agreed to a contract extension with middle linebacker Jaylon Smith, though the exact terms of the contract have yet to be announced.

Todd Archer on Twitter

The Cowboys have agreed to a contract extension with linebacker Jaylon Smith, according to sources. Smith was set to be a restricted free agent after this season but the Cowboys and his representatives started talks in the spring and they ramped up once camp began. Smith, a...

Of course, the Cowboys drafted Jaylon Smith early in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft despite the horrific leg injury he suffered in Notre Dame's college bowl game. Some didn't think Smith would ever recover to be the same player he once was, but in 2018 Smith emerged as an excellent middle linebacker once again. Smith finished the 2018 season with 121 combined tackles and 4 sacks, and has looked just as imposing thus far in the preseason.


Smith regained his athleticism and sideline to sideline speed, while retaining his impressive hit power and sound tackling to become one of the league's best. Combining Smith with Leighton Vander Esch, the Cowboys have put together arguably the best linebacker group in the NFL.

And now, there's no end in sight for the dynamic duo.


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Report: 2 Dallas Cowboys to be Activated off of P.U.P. List

John Williams

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Auto Draft 6

Per a report from ESPN's Todd Archer, the Dallas Cowboys will soon activate Tyrone Crawford and DeMarcus Lawrence off of the Physically Unable to Perform (P.U.P.) List.

"The Cowboys are planning to activate defensive linemen DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford from the physically unable to perform list on Tuesday, according to a source. They will work through individual drills in their first steps on the field before going through full practices. Lawrence had shoulder surgery not long after signing a five-year, $101 million contract in April. Crawford has been working his way through a hip issue that kept him out of the offseason program. Safety Byron Jones (hip) and receiver Noah Brown (knee) remain on PUP."

Todd Archer - ESPN.com

This report comes after DeMarcus Lawrence had offseason shoulder surgery in April and signed his five-year deal making him the highest-paid player in the history of the Dallas Cowboys, at least for now. It looks as if Lawrence will be ready for a week one return.

It's long been believed that Lawrence would be available for week one of the regular season and hasn't suffered any setbacks to this point that should lead you to believe otherwise. With Robert Quinn suspended for the first two games of the regular season and Randy Gregory's status still up in the air (he still hasn't applied for reinstatement), getting Lawrence and Crawford back for the first two weeks of the season becomes instrumental.


The Dallas Cowboys defensive line has looked really good through the first two games of the preseason, but as good as they've been, they'll need Lawrence and Crawford once the regular season starts. Lawrence will slot back in as the left defensive end and Tyrone Crawford will split snaps at right defensive end with Dorance Armstrong and 3-technique defensive tackle with Maliek Collins, Trysten Hill, and Kerry Hyder.

While the additions of DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford will help the defense tremendously, there still isn't a timeline on the return of Pro Bowl Cornerback Byron Jones. Jones has been out since having hip surgery this offseason.

With as good as the Dallas Cowboys defense has looked this offseason, there's reason to believe that they can be even better once each of these guys are back in the lineup full-time. For a defense that was one of the 10 best defenses in the NFL in 2019, they'll need Lawrence, Crawford, and Jones to make the jump into the elite stratosphere of NFL defenses.

With the Dallas Cowboys' eyes set on capturing that sixth Lombardi Trophy, getting Lawrence and Crawford back in time to be ready for the regular season is vital to starting the 2019 season off right.


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