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Is Defensive End Still a Top Need for Cowboys?

Sean Martin



Is Defensive End Still A Top Need For Cowboys?

With 38 team sacks in 2017, the Dallas Cowboys surpassed their 2016 total of 36 and turned pass rush into one of their strengths. With a career-high 14.5 sacks, Defensive End DeMarcus Lawrence led the way as one of the most productive and consistent players on the whole roster.

Compiling just 11 sacks over their final eight games though, the Cowboys' defensive line may still be far from the game-wrecking force it could be with the addition of more young talent.

The Cowboys sack production in 2017 again came without much of an impact from the RDE position.

Benson Mayowa, last year's sack-leader from this position, finished with just one sack over the same volume of snaps in 2017.

First-round draft pick Taco Charlton originally started at right end, and later moved behind Lawrence at LDE to finish his first season strong with three sacks.

Tyrone Crawford also proved an effective player -- mainly against the run -- on the far-right side of the Dallas defensive line. It was effectively his third position in three years after going from 3T DT to LDE, and then across to RDE.

Slotted to pick 19th overall at the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft, defensive end may still be one of the Cowboys biggest needs.

Signing Lawrence to a long-term deal with be a priority this offseason, as should adding real talent around him.

Cowboys en Español: El Futuro de David Irving y DeMarcus Lawrence

Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence (Kevin Jairaj / USA TODAY Sports)

There's no question Rod Marinelli's defense carried the offense through plenty of games down the stretch, the best they could as the team fell short of the playoffs. Looking to turn the corner thanks to investments made at the draft in the secondary last year, the Cowboys could quickly return to a league power should they sustain this defensive level.

Being able to force tight throws into coverage while being even better at pressuring the quarterback -- ideally, all while solving their offensive woes and putting up big totals again soon -- is the best way for the Cowboys to find themselves in the playoffs next season.

Pass rushers close out games, the best ones win their team games. Having already used a recent first-round pick at the position, the Cowboys can no longer sell their fans on untapped potential up front defensively.

The likes of Mayowa and Charles Tapper should be viewed only as ideal rotational pieces to rush behind another true starter that is lacking on this line.

In position to add a first round EDGE like Marcus Davenport, Arden Key, or Harold Landry should they choose to in April, the Cowboys continuing to win games with defense by making quarterbacking against them a nightmare could become a common sight.

With adjustments also needed on their star-driven offensive line, this is truly an offseason for the Dallas Cowboys to remember, games are won and lost in the trenches.

Tell us what you think about "Is Defensive End Still a Top Need for Cowboys?" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Pleasant NJ, no we're not how you think we are. Host of "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. You may @ me: @SeanMartinNFL.

  • Travis Diggs

    Of course its still a need. They stuggled with mobile qbs and they also struggled when Demarcus got double teamed. If your settled on Irving playing inside then you need another physical force on the edge opposite D Law to complement Taco either through free agency and/or the draft

  • Russ_Te

    Taco is a clear LDE and pretty much showed that down the stretch. I feel pretty good now about his development curve should Lawrence be sacrificed in FA. The anchor right now is Irving inside. That has to hold up, and then the DL can be built from there. Collins disappoints so far but he is still a young player, and might have another stage to his future game, like Lawrence did.

    Draft priority IMO:

    OL / OT

    An impact player from one of those is likely to fall to the Cowboys. That’s who I take – best available

Player News

Cowboys Trade for FB Jamize Olawale from Raiders

Jess Haynie



Jamize Olawale, Raiders

Less than a week after the Cowboys lost fullback Keith Smith to the Raiders in free agency, the two teams have worked out a trade to send FB Jamize Olawale from Oakland to Dallas.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Fullback trade! The #Raiders are sending FB Jamize Olawale to the #Cowboys, sources say. Dallas has its fullback, one who was with Oakland since 2012.

To facilitate the trade, the Cowboys will send their fifth-round pick (173rd overall) to the Raiders for their sixth-round pick (192nd), moving back just 19 spots.

In return, Dallas not only brings in a veteran replacement at FB but a player they already know.

Jamize Olawale was an undrafted rookie free agent of the Cowboys in 2012. Despite a strong showing in that preseason, Dallas did not have room for him on the roster. He was on the team's practice squad until December, when Oakland poached him.

Since then, Olawale has been a regular roleplayer in the Raiders' offense. He's missed just six games since 2013.

Jamize brings more offensive firepower to the FB position than Keith Smith had. He's scored at least one touchdown in each of the last three seasons. He can be effective both running and receiving.

Through the trade, Dallas picks up the final year of Olawale's current contract. It calls for a $1.5 million base salary in 2018.

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Player News

Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for 2018

Sean Martin



Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladoucer for 2018 1

Continuity is the key to good special teams play in the NFL. Already losing long-time Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia to the Raiders - who promptly snatched ST aces Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber in free agency - the Dallas Cowboys have announced their intentions to re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for the 2018 season.

Returning on a one-year deal, the fan favorite Ladouceur will be back to do what he does best in cleanly executing almost every special teams snap for Chris Jones or Dan Bailey to handle.

Todd Archer on Twitter

Long snapper L.P. Ladouceur will re-sign with the Cowboys on Monday, according to sources, on a one-year deal. He will be in his 14th season with the franchise. Only Jason Witten, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Bill Bates and Mark Tuinei will have more years of...

While Jones has improved as the Cowboys' punter with each passing season, Kicker Dan Bailey actually enters 2018 as another question mark on this unit. With the general belief around the team being that Bailey will be just fine moving forward, the Cowboys will no longer have to worry about who handles long snaps next year either.

Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladoucer for 2018

Dallas Cowboys LS L.P. Ladouceur

L.P. Ladouceur is back in the silver and blue, and in this moment, everything can be alright with the world.

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for 2018" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Player News

Report: Raiders Sign Former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber

Kevin Brady



Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys Re-Sign Linebacker Kyle Wilber

A Free Agency period filled with departures continued for the Dallas Cowboys today, as the Oakland Raiders have reportedly signed the now-former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber.


The Raiders have signed LB Kyle Wilber:

Wilber has been with the Cowboys since 2012, and has played in all 16 games four of the past five seasons. Most of his time has come on special teams, but he did provide solid linebacker depth for the Cowboys since joining the team.

Dallas has now lost both Wilber and Anthony Hitchens, depleting their linebacker depth even further over the last couple weeks.

The Raiders have now signed two key special teams contributors for the Cowboys in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber this offseason. Hopefully Dallas can replace these types of "replacement level" players throughout the rest of the offseason, especially during the NFL Draft.

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