Whenever someone starts talking about the Dallas Cowboys defensive ends, you know the names they are going to mention.
Demarcus Lawrence, David Irving, Taco Charlton, Damontre Moore. Four players which are considered to be the most productive ends on the roster this season by most fans. There is one defensive end, however, who seems to have been forgotten during these conversations.
This player might fit the right defensive end mold better than any of the others on the active roster, and should be the starter at the position week one. This player had more sacks than any of the aforementioned ends in 2016.
That player is defensive end Benson Mayowa.
After sort of a slow start last season, Mayowa finished strong with six sacks, four of which came over his final five games. He has the athletic profile to be a dangerous edge rusher at the professional level, he is just yet to really show it week in and week out.
Coming out of college Mayowa ran a 4.65 40 yard dash, and even after adding some size to his frame, he continues to flash that explosiveness on film at times. If any defensive end is due for a breakout year for Dallas, Mayowa may be that guy.
The problems with Mayowa go hand-in-hand: consistency and health. Mayowa missed three games in 2016 after missing five with the Oakland Raiders in 2015. He also underwent knee surgery prior to training camp last season.
Overall, I think we should have relatively high hopes for Benson Mayowa this season. Do I think he will be a double digit sack guy? No. But I do believe he can be within the 6-8 range once again, and will be a productive member of this defensive line.
The Cowboys don't have a premier pass rusher, and will need to use a “sacks by committee” sort of strategy. Benson Mayowa is the perfect rusher to execute this plan, and potentially be the leading sacker for a second consecutive season.