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David Irving Among Best PFF Pass Rushing Interior Linemen

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys' Pass Rush: Who Will Be QB Sack Leader In 2017?
Jeff Hanisch / USA TODAY Sports

It's a huge year for Dallas Cowboys' Defensive Tackle David Irving. After two good seasons in which he showed the world what he was capable of, Irving will play the 2018 NFL season under a second-round tender given to him by the Cowboys' front office.

A decision that made Cowboys Nation afraid of another NFL team snatching Irving away seems to have paid off for the team. However, concerns surround the young player who's had to deal with a domestic violence investigation (which has been closed) and who's allegedly  "out of shape."

Pro Football Focus on Twitter

Dominant interior defenders.

While offseason concerns are present, let's give credit where credit is due. Pro Football Focus recently tweeted its Top 5 interior defenders by "pass rush productivity."

Among said Top 5 is Cowboys' DT David Irving. Aaron Donald and Geno Atkins stand as the only two better linemen on the list with Cam Heyward and David Irving tied for third. Matt Idannidis  occupies the fifth spot.

According to PFF, pass rush productivity "measures pressure created on a per snap basis with weighting toward sacks." Irving was able to rack up seven sacks in just eight games last season but his contributions to the Dallas Cowboys defense went beyond this simple stat.

Bob Sturm on Twitter

Splash Plays per snap - via @notJDaigle

Bob Sturm was able to put together a pretty interesting stat back in February which perfectly portrayed Irving's ability to disrupt as a defender. According to the "Splash Plays" stat, Irving was the second best defender on the Cowboys, despite being suspended for the first four games of the season.

It's more than clear that the team counts with one of the best talents at his position in the entire league. Right now, the question is: can he take the next step?

A good, productive year by Irving would undoubtedly result in a juicy contract for him, if not from the Cowboys, from other team. However, it's about time David Irving realizes where he's at in his career.

It's disappointing to hear that he's not practicing because he's "not in shape." It really is. Irving could earn himself the contract of a lifetime if he's willing to give his very best effort on the field. Sure, it's just the OTAs right now. But Irving is far from a proven veteran who can afford to miss offseason practices.

Perhaps this explains why no team in the NFL was willing to give up a second-round pick for Irving. The talent is clearly there. One has to wonder about Irving's commitment and work ethic.

As for the Cowboys defense, hopes remain that Irving will be one of the most important pieces next season. With him and Lawrence on the defensive line, the Cowboys can win the battle in the trenches both from the offense and from the defense week after week.

The defensive line will be one of the team's deepest and one that will have success under the leadership of Lawrence, Crawford and Irving.

However, Irving's time to step up doesn't being in September. It begins now. Once he gets back into shape, it's time for him to start grinding and start working on getting his next big payday.

The Cowboys want to make a Super Bowl run in 2018. They need a capable defense. With Irving and Lawrence playing lights out like they did last year, they're certainly closer to their ultimate goal.

Tell me what you think about "David Irving Among Best PFF Pass Rushing Interior Linemen" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 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!



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 @PepoR99.

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1 Comment
  • Sexcdex Xfact

    Other teams do investigative work too
    Meaning :
    David Irving volatile relationship with his daughters mother is said to be well known by Dallas personnel, teammates etc
    Then there was the recent custody battle lined with a very serious domestic abuse allegation
    This is obviously what scared other teams away & allowed Dallas to tender what I personally feel (worth 1st round tender) only a 2nd round tender to Irvin
    Now PFF agrees with my personal assessment of David’s worth & I’m elated that not only has the investigation proved he’s not guilty of domestic violence buy that he’s suitable for dole custody of his daughter
    The only negative opinion I “could” have of D. I. is that he chose to ignore his professional health in the midst of all the baby mama drama when other professionals have used to have a motivated doubled-down stance in healthiness dispite life’s dilemmas
    I think the Cowboys have been playing well with the salary capped deficient recent years hand the owner dealt themselves with much salary next year to final secure a longterm approach to all their immediate & future positional needs

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Despite Late Push as Rookie, Will Taco Charlton Struggle to See Field in 2018?

Sean Martin

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Despite Late Push in Year One, Will Taco Charlton Struggle to See the Field in 2018? 1
(Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)

It feels like ages ago that the Dallas Cowboys spent the 28th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft on Michigan Defensive End Taco Charlton. Perhaps this is a result of the constant distancing fans have made from this unpopular pick, or the corresponding moves the Cowboys have made at DE since drafting Charlton.

These moves include using the franchise tag on DeMarcus Lawrence after seeing him explode for 14.5 sacks, spending a fourth round pick this year on Kansas' Dorance Armstrong, and seeing Randy Gregory reinstated in time for training camp.

Across the entirety of the Cowboys roster, there will be plenty of "odd men out" that miss the cut down to 53 players. Defensive end remains one of the most cluttered spots on the current 90 man roster however.

Despite Late Push as Rookie, Will Taco Charlton Struggle to See Field in 2018?

Dallas Cowboys DE Taco Charlton, DT Maliek Collins (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)

Prior to establishing the depth the Cowboys now have up front on defense, they did Taco no favors by starting his career at right defensive end. While Gregory may still be a long way from earning the starting role here, similarly styled players like Armstrong have the edge here over Charlton.

This relegates Charlton to the strong side, where he always projected best out of college. By the time the Cowboys realized this a season ago, they also knew a franchise pass rusher was playing his way into the team's long-term plans.

Lawrence's stellar consistency off the edge reduced Charlton's role in the Cowboys rotation of pass rushers. An ideal spot for the rookie to develop with less pressure on him, Charlton's opportunities to continue playing left end may only be reduced this season.

The first-round pick is capable of kicking inside at defensive tackle, a position the Cowboys could certainly use help at. However, asking Charlton to go through another position shift would only halt the progress that took quite a bit of patience from Dallas to see.

It's far from unheard of for the Cowboys to do this with their young players, but for now Charlton remains a defensive end looking to make his impact. The Cowboys are in much better position now than they were at this time a year ago when it comes to setting expectations for him to do so.

Given everything he showed on tape at Michigan as well as in his pre-draft interviews, Charlton is a player that needs to succeed at the task at hand. When this plan is altered, the 6'6" pass rusher is much less effective -- without even considering any athletic struggles that Charlton has compared to other prototypes at defensive end.

As a unit, the Cowboys defensive line has all the pieces to be very effective this season. Taco Charlton is a piece to this puzzle, a backup left end that must find a way to flourish in this role.

For most former 28th overall picks, doing so would be considered a fall from grace. For the Cowboys, it's simply an example of strong roster building that's forced life to come at Charlton quickly. How he responds with a full season under his belt will make or break the hype this deep Cowboys defensive line has garnered, lead of course by the starter at Charlton's position in DeMarcus Lawrence.

Tell us what you think about "Despite Late Push as Rookie, Will Taco Charlton Struggle to See Field in 2018?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Cowboys DE Randy Gregory Reinstated, Will Join Team for Training Camp

Sean Martin

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Will the Dallas Cowboys "Get Lucky" at Defensive End?

The Dallas Cowboys patience with Defensive End Randy Gregory has paid off. Suspended for the better part of 2016 and all of 2017, Gregory has officially been reinstated to join the team for their 2018 training camp. The projected starter at RDE, Gregory will report to Oxnard with the rest of the team on July 25th.

From here, it will be all hard work for Gregory to reconnect with Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli and get his promising career back on track. The last time Gregory suited up for the Cowboys, he managed to sack Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Carson Wentz in a week 17 win. The Cowboys will be expecting much more of this from a player they've supported through multiple violations of the league's heavily criticized substance abuse policy.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Cowboys pass-rusher Randy Gregory's petition for reinstatement was not opposed, according to lawyer Daniel Moskowitz. He's back. "I've never been more proud of any individual in my life. I'm very excited for Randy and his daughter and the rest of the his family.

Among this support staff for Gregory were a number of teammates that wrote formal letters to the NFL as part of his bid for reinstatement. These last few days of preparation before the Cowboys are together again as a team will surely be uplifted by Gregory's presence.

They say no news is typically good news at this point in the offseason, something the Cowboys have come to realize far too often. Today's news shouldn't be confused with a pleasant surprise however, rather something the Cowboys were committed to in getting another premier pass rusher on the field.

Here is the NFL's official press release on their reinstatement of Randy Gregory:

Sean Martin ✭ on Twitter

Sean Martin ✭ on Twitter

https://t.co/za0u3lWgaY

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys DE Randy Gregory Reinstated, Will Join Team for Training Camp" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Cowboys & DeMarcus Lawrence Fail to Reach New Contract

Jess Haynie

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Which 2018 Free Agents Will The Cowboys Retain? 1
Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportwire

DeMarcus Lawrence will definitely be a Cowboy in 2018, but now the future  beyond that remains in question. The Dallas Cowboys and their star defensive end did not agree to a long-term contract by today's deadline for franchise-tagged players.

According to NFL rules, teams had until 4:00 pm EST today to reach contract extensions with free agents who'd been assigned the franchise tag earlier this offseason. Players who did not get new deals will have to play the 2018 season on their one-year franchise tenders.

Jon Machota on Twitter

DeMarcus Lawrence and the Cowboys were unable to work out a long-term contract by today's deadline. Lawrence will play the 2018 season under a one-year franchise tag that will pay him $17.1 million

This does not mean Lawrence will be a free agent in 2019. The two parties can still discuss the contract in the months to come, but the deal cannot be made until after the end of the regular season.

Dallas also has the option of giving DeMarcus a second franchise tag next year. However, that would come at a considerably higher price for a second-straight season.

This year, Lawrence will still make plenty with one of the highest cap hits of any DE in the league. He earned the franchise tag last with 14.5 sacks in a breakout season.

Today's news may not really be a big deal in the long run. As long as Tank wants to stay in Dallas after this, the two sides now have over five months to keep talking and will hopefully agree on a new deal for 2019 and beyond.

There is risk on both sides, of course.

Lawrence's leverage could be less if his productions drops or he gets injured. On the other hand, his position could be even stronger with a second-straight year of strong play.

Now everyone, from the team to player to fans, is in wait-and-see mode until the end of the season.



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