With our defensive line in shambles, it doesn’t help when two of our most talented DE’s are suspended for substance abuse. It also shouldn’t surprise us, seeing as this isn’t their first offense.
The Cowboys eventually took Randy Gregory sixtieth overall in last year’s draft despite his off the field issues. Gregory said at the time, “The franchise that drafts me won’t have to worry about me off the field, but the teams that didn’t select me will have to worry about me on the field.”
Well, in mid-February, we learned that Gregory will be off the field for four games precisely because of his off the field behavior. He is suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy having tested positive for marijuana. One DE down.
The Cowboys’ other DE failed a drug test, too, and is also looking at a four game suspension, just like Gregory. This is DeMarcus Lawrence‘s second failed drug test since being drafted by the Cowboys. Two DEs down.
Jerry Jones basically confirmed DeMarcus Lawrence will serve a four game suspension, calling it “a loss” and “setback” in a press conference
However, unlike Gregory, Lawrence reportedly failed a drug test for amphetamines and medications other than marijuana, making his case arguable. Lawrence, is preparing to appeal his suspension, and with a prescription for these medications in his hip pocket, that appeal could swing in his favor. So there is a chance that he may not miss any games at all.
But, if the suspension stands, then the Cowboys will be without Gregory and Lawrence for the first four games when we play the Giants, Redskins, Bears, and 49ers. Their first game of the 2016 season would be October 9th, in week five against the Bengals.
With Gregory and Lawrence out for the first four games, drafting a defensive end is a must for the Cowboys now, right?
Not exactly. Drafting a player fourth overall should not be out of a knee jerk reaction to suspensions. A first round pick is a decision that will resonate for the next eight plus years and shouldn’t be squandered because of the substance abuse issues of two players; a problem that in the long run might only be temporary.
The Cowboys were probably going to draft a DE somewhere in the draft regardless of Gregory and Lawrence’s situation.
The defense certainly needs help on the line, but one way to help the defensive line is to bolster up the defensive backfield. If the receivers are well covered for just a second longer, that gives whoever is rushing the passer one more valuable second to hurry the QB or sack him.
Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence’s suspensions do not make it imperative that the Cowboys draft DeForest Buckner or Joey Bosa fourth overall. If anything, they give the Cowboys all the more reason to draft Jalen Ramsey!