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Dallas Cowboys Playing a Risky Game at DE Opposite DeMarcus Lawrence?

Dallas Cowboys are gambling on Tyrone Crawford, Aldon Smith, and Randy Gregory in 2020.

The Dallas Cowboys haven’t put all their eggs into one basket just yet, but as things stand right now it looks as if they’re playing a risky game at defensive end opposite DeMarcus Lawrence. With Robert Quinn gone, it’s a little hard to have much faith with the Cowboys current plan to replace his lost production.

I may be wrong, but it looks as if the Dallas Cowboys are banking on what they hope to be a three-headed monster at right defensive end to hopefully replace Robert Quinn. As things stand right now, odds are Tyrone Crawford starts opposite DeMarcus Lawrence with Randy Gregory and Aldon Smith backing him up.

I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot to ask from three players who haven’t played a lot of football recently. We all know Randy Gregory’s been suspended since 2018 and Aldon Smith has been suspended even longer (2015). Tyrone Crawford’s availability should be called into question as well considering he had to have season-ending hip surgery early in the season last year.

Let that sink in for just a little bit…

Tyrone Crawford played in a total of four games, starting two before landing on injured reserve with an hip injury that required surgery. Randy Gregory didn’t play at all in 2019 and Aldon Smith last saw the field in 2015. There’s reason to be concerned, right!?

What if Tyrone Crawford has any lingering effects from last year’s hip injury? What if Randy Gregory and Aldon Smith aren’t reinstated? After all, we know how Roger Goodell is as it pertains to suspensions and Dallas Cowboys players cough cough Ezekiel Elliott. Unfortunately, that’s a lot of questions with no clear answer right now.

Fortunately though, the Dallas Cowboys can still add more depth through either free agency or the draft. Everson Griffin is still out there on the open market as is Jadeveon Clowney. Both would be upgrades over what’s currently on the roster, but they’d also cost a pretty penny to sign as well. I think it’s unlikely the Cowboys go this direction, leaving the 2020 NFL Draft as the best solution.

With that in mind, I wouldn’t be that surprised if the Dallas Cowboys decided to take an EDGE rusher in the first-round with the 17th overall pick. K’Lavon Chaisson is a popular pass rusher often mocked to the Cowboys there, but don’t rule out a player like Zack Baun either because he could provide depth at linebacker as well.

Whatever the Dallas Cowboys decide to do, I think it would be unwise for them to put all their eggs into one basket. Tyrone Crawford, Randy Gregory, and Aldon Smith may very well turn into a fearsome trio opposite DeMarcus Lawrence, however what happens if they don’t and the Cowboys don’t have a backup plan in place?

Are the Dallas Cowboys are playing a risky game at DE opposite DeMarcus Lawrence?

What do you think?

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Brian Martin

Written by Brian Martin

Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.


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    • I think you’re underestimating how valuable Tyrone Crawford has been for the Dallas Cowboys defense over the years. He may not have lived up to his contract, but there’s no denying they missed him in the lineup last season. The Cowboys actually don’t need the cap settings right now, but they could always approach him to take a pay cut, something he said he’d consider.

  1. With the 2 DTs they brought in that should help the pass rush also,they should be ok,draft Ayton Robinson from Syracuse in the 3rd or 4th round,trade out of the 17th spot for extra picks,the talent you get at that spot you can get later in the draft,pick up more picks

    • Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe should help the Cowboys pass rush, but they have to think about the future of the DE position. Tyrone Crawford, Aldon Smith, and Randy Gregory are all entering the final year of their contracts. Because of that, I think DE is in play as early as 17.

      • Just because these 3 are free agents at the end of the season doesn’t mean we should go DE at 17!!even if all 3 leave at the end of the season we’ll still have 4 or 5 other edge rushers on the team!! We need a safety and a corner way more than a DE!! At the end of the season we’ll only have Donovan Wilson and Thompson or whatever his name is and that’s it…. Neither one of them are starters or good enough to start!! And at corner all we’ll have left is Anthony Brown!! Which is why I think we should trade down a few spots get an extra pick and draft Xavier Mckinney in the 1st round and then pick the best corner available in the 2nd round and then we need a slot receiver too so we need to draft one in the 3rd round and with the extra 3rd round pick we got from trading down we can draft Tyler biadasz to be our future starter at center!! So as you can see DE is far from a need for us!!

  2. I agree with everything you said but as far as Gregory and Smith I think they will be reinstated fully to go out and ball. They both seem like athletes that might take a little time to get back into the swing of game reps… Like 2 or 3 games but it would be like riding a bike. I realize they are getting older too. They both should be in “shape” if theyre trying to play again because this could be their last shot if they really want it. But game shape is a little different. Crawford could be their leaning post until these 2 turn into monsters again. In no way should they pay for clowney but Griffen could be that guy if they let Crawford go but I don’t see them doing that.
    With that said I seen what baun can do to an offense being a buckeye fan. He was always disruptive and the buckeyes usually have a good on-line. That guy can come from anywhere and is fast and ninja like doing it. He could be the tj watt we shoulda had.

    • Travis, I’m a big Zack Baun fan and I’d absolutely love for the Cowboys to draft him. I personally don’t think taking him at 17 is too high, but if they can trade down and still get him that would be ideal.

  3. If they could trade back and get baun with a safety like delpit or mckinney. Or even a CB like fulton or terrell or gladney I’d be thrilled. I’d just hate to take chaisson and end up with another taco. Not saying he couldn’t be good I’m just not real high on him. Maybe a reciever in the 3rd kj hamler/kj hill/duverney/pride Jr.
    Im not against Jalen hurts in the 3rd either. Pressure on dak to compete. Didn’t impress me at Alabama passing but Lincoln Riley brought his passing out. Joe burrow wasn’t that impressive at lsu his 1st yr in the system either. But I’m in no way comparing hurts to burrow either. Long time buckeye fan and I wanted burrow to start over jt barret his senior yr. Just watching him in person I knew he was a better QB. Haskins was a good passer but couldn’t scramble like burrow. I’m still furious urban Meyer made that decision. I watched burrow in 2 spring games and… Well I’m done rambling.

  4. Hey Brian, agree, they are rolling the dice somewhat on Gregory and especially with Smith. Can Dorance Armstrong play the right side? If so, I think he has good potential. Another good part of the equation is the DE draft class is pretty good and deep. We can get a good one a little later on. I’m thinking if we don’t get one of the top two or three guys, a Darrell Taylor or a Bradlee Anae would work well. So we don’t HAVE to necessarily draft a DE very early to have a successful pick.

    • I think Armstrong will likely remain as DeMarcus Lawrence’s backup. I could be wrong, but I don’t see the Cowboys flipping him over to RDE. They will likely be looking for a rotational pass rusher to develop in the second or third round. Darrell Taylor and Bradlee Anae are both within that range and could definitely be in play there.

  5. You forgot 4th round pick (2018) Dorance Armstrong DE Kansas. He has 2 sacks last year in a limited season. I for one am not ready to ignore him or his possible contributions. Put him in a rotation role with the others and I see fresh legs, speed off the edge and a player who could also play LB in Nolan’s multiple schemes.
    Factor in a nice pool of talented DE in rounds 3-5 with sub 4.9 speed and there is plenty of DE/Pass Rush players available regardless of how they can be obtained or already here.
    There is absolutely zero reason to chase any player and at pick #17 and barring any trades, simply pick “best available” as the Boys have needs at multiple positions on both sides (C, WR, DE, LB, S, CB). If Lamb is available at 17, you jump all over that pick. Otherwise you use the depth in the draft at WR and grab a solid WR in rounds 3-5 although I prefer using Pollard as the slot WR spot.
    No risk at DE at all…..

    • I didn’t forget about Armstrong. I just don’t think he factors in at RDE. I think he will remain as DeMarcus Lawrence’s primary backup at LDE. I really think the Cowboys will look at their DE options in each round, but they are set up well enough so that they don’t have to force their hand.

  6. Quinn benefitted BIG TIME playing opposite DLaw. Plus you cannot discount Armstrong and Jelks after a year under their belts. In Nolan’s hybrid D scheme Jaylon and LVE are going to get a ton more opportunities to rush off the edge. They should also ink Clay Matthews who racked up 8 sacks, 12 TGLs and multiple QB hits in limited playing time.

    • Armstrong will once again be DeMarcus Lawrence’s primary backup on the left side and should be better in Year 3. As far as Jelks is concerned, if the Cowboys get anything out of him it will be a bonus.

      I don’t see Jaylon and LVE rushing off the edge much. They may be blitzed more often, but I doubt they get used as EDGE players.

      I like the idea of adding Clay Matthews, but only after the draft if the Cowboys don’t add another pass rushers. I don’t think Matthews is at the point in his career where he is ready to be nothing more than a depth/rotational player.

  7. I been a cowboys fan since 1960 and they have always had a great combination on the ends the reason I will go with Gregory is his is motor skills never stopped running I think he’s ready to play and put to rest he can be the player that the cowboys have been behind him thru the issue he that we understand the situation and he’s getting help I think he’s ready to show his appreciation to the cowboys for sticking with him since he has a better supporting case will help him stay straight & norrow ! HOW BOUT THIM COWBOYS!

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