Help is on the way for the Dallas Cowboys' defensive line in week three, as defensive end Damontre Moore will return from a two game suspension served against the Giants and Broncos. Not only will Moore get back on the field against a Cardinals team that has struggled to protect QB Carson Palmer – his flashes in the preseason and fit into Rod Marinelli's scheme should carry the expectation that he'll be a significant addition to the Cowboys' front for the rest of the season.
DeMarcus Lawrence has been the “war daddy” the Cowboys need getting after the quarterback through two games, doing so 3.5 times with help from this team's interior push of Maliek Collins and Stephen Paea.
Understandably, Lawrence's most productive seasons with the Cowboys have come when he has support elsewhere along the defensive line, recording a career high eight sacks when Greg Hardy rushed opposite him at RDE in 2015.
Damontre Moore will have a chance to make an even bigger overall impact on this defense, as he rejoins this deep rotation of linemen with the versatility to rush off of either edge or, in certain packages, inside at the 3T position.
While Lawrence's game is more dependent on power and strength, Moore mixes in his speed and explosive first step to consistently capture the corner, flatten, and disrupt the quarterback. Teams are going to learn quickly that assigning just one blocker to both Moore and Lawrence will lead to plenty of collapsed pockets, but the Cowboys' ability to play both #90 and #58 on the move will allow Dallas to dictate the game up front.
Damontre Moore is certainly a patented Rod Marinelli guy – a relentless rusher that will bull rush his blocker into the quarterback if need be, with the active hands to disengage and drive with impressive pad level.
With second-year DE Benson Mayowa off to another slow start in 2017, Moore can ideally grab hold of the RDE position and make his presence felt as much more than just an EDGE that will hold the point of attack and fill run lanes.
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) July 25, 2017
After just two more games, the Cowboys will also add back promising DE David Irving, and his return from suspension will give Marinelli yet another (proven) rusher to use on the edge or at defensive tackle – where Irving has shown the ability to absolutely dominate guards with his length and quickness.
To other fans around the NFL, the Cowboys' defense may very well still be a “band of orphans”. For those in Cowboys Nation that have been waiting for Dallas' defensive line play to improve though, the return of Damontre Moore is going to help this unit develop into one of the most versatile, athletic, and productive fronts the Cowboys have had in a very long time.