DeMarcus Lawrence's four game suspension is finally over. And, Cowboys fans, it is right to rejoice.
The Dallas Cowboys have survived his absence, and despite completely lacking a pass rushing defensive end, are 3-1 through the first quarter of their season. Now, they welcome back the team's sack leader from a season ago, needing for him to make an impact immediately.
After missing most of his rookie season, and only recording one single sack through the first 8 games of his sophomore season, Lawrence reached new heights during the final 8 games of that same season. Tallying 7 sacks during those 8 games, Lawrence made his presence felt each and every week, ending his season on a high note and giving fans a reason to believe in him.
Week 14. DeMarcus Lawrence sacks Aaron Rodgers https://t.co/9aM3RVTrro
Some attributed his increased production to the emergence of defensive end Greg Hardy, as offenses had to shift their focus towards neutralizing Hardy, giving Lawrence more opportunities to work one on one against offensive tackles.
This may be partly true, but the reverse effect might be seen this season. If Lawrence can establish himself as a legitimate pass rush threat this week, teams will be forced to focus on him, chipping him with running backs or maybe even keeping tight ends in to help block him.
When this becomes the case, the other Cowboys' defensive linemen will have the chance to work. I would specifically look to rookie defensive tackle Maliek Collins, who has shown a ton of promise as a pass rusher. Enough so that he has faced an incredible amount of double teams these past few games.
To be honest, I think it is fair to expect a lot out of Lawrence. All of the reports out of training camp about him were glowing, and he looked excellent against the Cowboys offensive tackles during one on one drills.
You take these reports with a grain of salt of course, but Lawrence even looked much bigger physically when he came to camp this summer. That could help his bull rush, and help him in run support as well.
The Cowboys need Lawrence to come up big this season. They gambled big time on their young defensive linemen, and despite their record, it hasn't been great so far.
In a way, Lawrence is the last hope of this season. He had displayed all of the tools to come through and be a real pass rushing threat, and for the sake of the Cowboys, he must be.
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.
Dallas Cowboys Restructure Travis Frederick’s Contract, Clear Cap Space
Patience is a virtue for football fans everywhere this time of the year, especially those of the Dallas Cowboys. A team known for using free agency to deal with their own expiring contracts and players, Cowboys Nation has been anxiously awaiting an addition to improve this roster before the draft. While the wait will continue for outside help in Dallas, the Cowboys have created $7.5 million in cap space by restructuring the contract of Center Travis Frederick.
C Travis Frederick will restructure his deal to help clear up roughly 7.5M in cap space for the #Cowboys per source informed
Restructuring the contracts of their cornerstone players is nothing new for the Cowboys. Rarely doing so with a clear "next move" in sight, the market for top FA talent at WR and OL may have already passed the Cowboys.
Having the space to negotiate with available players now opens the door just slightly further for Earl Thomas or Tyrann Mathieu acquisitions to become realistic. Reportedly, the Cowboys have inquired about both safeties (Thomas via popular trade talks and Mathieu as a free agent, released by the Cardinals) and have been met with price tags the Jones' were forced to turn away.
Giving up assets for players that will warrant large future contracts is not currently the Dallas Cowboys' way, but being able to sign somebody in free agency has been. To avoid a repeat of 2017, a season arguably derailed as soon as the team's free agent class failed entirely, the Cowboys will need to find proven players that can contribute on the market in the coming weeks.
With the help of the anchor to their star-studded offensive line, the Cowboys can come to this market with slightly thicker wallets now. Keep the optimistic tweets alive, and tip Travis Frederick accordingly.
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