The Dallas Cowboys' approach to this offseason has been no secret.
They have searched for bargains in the open market, adding youthful and athletic players with presumably high upsides but very little production to this point in their professional careers.
Defensive End Benson Mayowa fits this blueprint to a "T."
The former Seattle Seahawk, but more recently former Oakland Raider, joined the Cowboys after the Raiders failed to match the Cowboys' offer sheet to Mayowa during free agency.
The questions surrounding the Cowboys' pass rush and defensive end situation are clear, but the addition of Mayowa seemed to not mean much for the immediate future at first. Fans believed the team had added a rotational player who would see occasional snaps, and would have a chance to gain more playing time week by week.
Instead, Mayowa may be asked to start as soon as week one for the team, and will be forced to fill a big role for the first time during his early career in the league.
So, the team must now figure out what everyone around the Cowboys from fans to coaches wants to know, is Benson Mayowa up to the challenge?
Of course, only time will tell if Mayowa is truly ready to contribute as a consistent pass rusher this season or at anytime during his career.
We can take an educated guess about what to expect from Mayowa from his past performances, however.
After receiving only one offer out of high school, Benson signed on to the Idaho Vandals and made the most of his chance, finishing his college career with 10 sacks and 70 tackles.
It is important to note that Mayowa entered college just under 200 pounds, but left Idaho at a stout 6'3" 240. He turned himself into the player he had always wanted to be because he had a chip on his shoulder, and this chip has followed him into the NFL.
After leaving Idaho Mayowa was once again overlooked, this time during the NFL Draft. As an undrafted free agent, Mayowa signed with the Seattle Seahawks in 2013 before joining the Raiders in 2014.
Mayowa entered the league as a 4-3 defensive end, the exact role he will be asked to play in Dallas. After joining the Raiders, however, he was asked to play as the 3-4 edge rushing outside linebacker at times as well. This speaks to Mayowa's versatility and athleticism, showing that he is comfortable in space, but more importantly to the Cowboys, has experience playing with his hand on the ground.
With the Raiders a year ago Mayowa played 376 snaps in 12 games, averaging about 31 snaps per game. In his 30 career games played, Mayowa has only recorded two sacks.
No, that is not a good number to look at if you are a hopeful Cowboys fan, but it is the truth.
Of course, it is hard to find time in Oakland as an edge rusher with all of the high draft picks the franchise has invested into the position.
He won't have this problem in Dallas, that much is guaranteed.
While he has gained over 40 pounds since entering college, Mayowa is still rather undersized for the position. This of course makes you wonder if he can be strong enough to take on offensive tackles in the 4-3 scheme, set the edge, and shed blockers to make plays.
What Mayowa does have going for him, however, is his arm length. Similar to his teammate, rookie defensive end Charles Tapper, Mayowa can make up for his lack of weight with a quick first step and getting hands-on the offensive lineman immediately. Because of these long arms, Mayowa can create separation from the offensive tackle and win the leverage battle at the line of scrimmage.
Mayowa also ran a 4.65 40 yard dash at the combine, which speaks more to his athleticism and comfortability in space. While Mayowa is certainly not a bruiser at defensive end, and is light for the position, his arm length and athleticism impress teams, and give him a chance in the league.
There are certainly more questions than answers with Mayowa's game in Dallas as of right now. What we do know, however, is that he is young, long, lanky, and athletic. All qualities which defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli seems to value in his defensive ends.
Turning just 25 years old this season, Benson Mayowa will have the opportunity early in the season to claim the starting defensive end position full time while filling in for Randy Gregory and Demarcus Lawrence.
Benson Mayowa is yet another athletic edge rusher who fits the blueprint the Cowboys have laid out for their defensive linemen. Hopefully, he can fulfill the Cowboys needs from game one against New York.
Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for 2018
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.
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... https://t.co/yTQbMYyrIv
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.
L.P. Ladouceur is back in the silver and blue, and in this moment, everything can be alright with the world.
Report: Raiders Sign Former Cowboys LB 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: https://t.co/TaC6cqjval
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.
Report: Cowboys Officially Release CB Orlando Scandrick
After requesting his release from the team just a few days ago, Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick has gotten his wish. According to ESPN's Josina Anderson, Scandrick has officially been cut by the Dallas Cowboys.
I'm told the #Cowboys have informed CB Orlando Scandrick he will be released, per source.
This move will reportedly save the Cowboys roughly $1.4M against the salary cap, as we hope they finally look to make some moves during the Free Agency period.
Scandrick's release comes after an offseason in which the Cowboys totally overhauled the back end of their defense, specifically their cornerbacks. With the emergence of young, promising players such as Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, and the health issues of the aging Scandrick, the move makes a lot of sense.
In fact, after the Cowboys drafted Awuzie in the second round of last year's draft it was rumored the Cowboys were looking to move Scandrick for extra draft picks. Instead, one year later, they have cut him to save some cap room.
Orlando Scandrick should have a market to find a new team elsewhere, but his time in Dallas has now come to a close.
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