The Dallas Cowboys added quite a few pieces to their defensive front during the offseason. Veteran’s Kerry Hyder and Christian Covington were brought in to provide a steady rotation on the defensive line and to make life easier for All-Pro DeMarcus Lawrence.
The biggest acquisition came at the end of March when the Cowboys traded for Defensive End Robert Quinn, sending a sixth-round pick to the Miami Dolphins. A former All-Pro in his own right, Quinn was set to start opposite Lawrence at right defensive end and provide the Cowboys with one of the best pass-rushing duos in the league. Unfortunately, Quinn was suspended in August for violating the NFL’s PED policy. Also, he broke a bone in his hand around the same time, making his start in Dallas a shaky one.
When Quinn made his Cowboys debut in Week 3 vs his former team he wasted very little time making his presence felt. Not only did he register a sack but he was credited with seven quarterback pressures, which already gave him the team lead in that category. Pretty impressive for a guy with limited practice time prior to the season.
This would set the tone for his entire season and he hasn’t looked back. In the seven games since his Cowboys debut, Quinn has registered at least a half-sack in every game except Week 5 vs the Green Bay Packers, including two games with multiple sacks. What’s mind-blowing to me is that his 8.5 sacks for the season are almost a third of the Cowboys 26 sacks as a team.
Quinn’s speed and leverage coming off the edge is quite impressive. Trying to block him one on one is a recipe for disaster. In fact, if any team takes this approach they might as well make funeral arrangements for their quarterback.
The benefits of having Quinn are endless. The more pressure he gets coming off the right side the easier it will make Lawrence’s job coming off the left side due to less double teams. What this also does is free up Maliek Collins, Antwaun Woods, and Michael Bennett on the interior by putting them in more one on one situations.
The “Black Cobra” as he’s called in Dallas has been the best offseason acquisition the Cowboys have made in a while. He’s on pace for 15 sacks in 14 games which would be the second-most of his career (had 19 in 2013) and his first double-digit sack season since 2014 when he was a member of the Los Angeles Rams. He’s been best pass rusher all year for the Cowboys and a true gift from above for this defensive line unit.