Happy Monday, Cowboys Nation! Looking for some silver and blue tinted optimism to start off your week? Well, you came to the right place, because I'm here to talk about the Dallas Cowboys' defensive end position.
Wait, Sean, it's Monday AND I have to read about one of the biggest sore spots on the Cowboys' roster? Why would you do this...
Well, while I would mostly disagree with the fans that are overly concerned about Rod Marinelli's current pass rushers, the one player that should have been an undeniable bright spot to start off 2016 is DeMarcus Lawrence.
While that potential for the third year defensive end in Lawrence is still there, he now has to deal with an unfortunate four game suspension enforced due to a violation in the league's substance abuse policy.
While all of the details of the suspension have not been released, the failed test is believed to be associated with his off season back surgery.
DeMarcus Lawrence found himself as a pass rusher near the end of 2015. After recording just 1 sack through the first half of the season, things did not look promising for the former second round pick of 2014. Lawrence then recorded seven sacks over the Cowboys' final eight games to end his second season on a temporary high note.
In a perfect world, Dallas will welcome back a healthy and extremely motivated D-Law in week 5 to anchor a defensive line that is undoubtedly desperate for the established presence he can provide (albeit in a small sample size).
By looking closely at how Lawrence was able to develop last season, this dream scenario becomes a real possibility. As an edge rusher, many people credited Lawrence's success to the contributions of guys like Greg Hardy and the rest of the defensive line drawing attention - which allowed DeMarcus to work against single blocks on the left side.
If that was truly the case, a more experienced Lawrence could dominate when he steps on the field in 2016. The Cowboys current depth at defensive tackle is overwhelming, and this unit is going to require offenses to prepare for the pressure that Tyrone Crawford, Cedric Thornton, Terrell McClain, David Irving, and Jack Crawford can collectively create up the middle.
After recovering a fumble that sent Dallas to the 2014 Divisional Playoffs, notice who is nearby to celebrate that emotional Wild Card win against Detroit with DeMarcus.
The only player still with the team here besides Lawrence is Terrell McClain, who's roster spot is in jeopardy after suffering a season-ending injury early in 2015.
When D-Law steps onto the field for the first time in 2016, he can think back to this moment from his magical rookie season, and look to be a driving force in recreating that type of winning atmosphere.
To do so, Lawrence can hunt down quarterbacks from the edge, and hopefully ones that are desperate for quick points should the Dallas offense do it's job of controlling the clock with Ezekiel Elliott.
The unknown element to this defensive line unit is Randy Gregory, as he will also serve a four game suspension to begin the season. If he can return to reclaim his position at RDE, and do so with some productivity, this defensive front could surprise everyone and become a real strength for this team - driven by DeMarcus Lawrence.
What do you expect from Lawrence in 2016? Start the conversation with a comment below, or email me your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org!
BREAKING: Cowboys Sign Ex-Packers WR Randall Cobb
According to multiple sources, the Dallas Cowboys have signed former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Randall Cobb to a one-year deal to help bolster their depth at the WR position and potentially become Cole Beasley's replacement.
Cowboys are giving former Packers' WR Randall Cobb a one-year, $5 million deal, per source. https://t.co/8KWFPjSP8T
The Dallas Cowboys met with Randall Cobb earlier this week, but he eventually left Dallas without a contract. He must've had a change of heart or just needed time to ponder the Cowboys offer, but regardless of what transpired in that short time he is now part of America's Team.
During his time with the Packers, Cobb accumulated 470 receptions for 5,524 receiving yards and 41 touchdowns. The eight-year veteran will now be expected to replace some of Cole Beasley's production out of the slot for the Dallas Cowboys.
After years of watching Beasley as the Cowboys slot WR, it will be really interesting to see Randall Cobb in that role. He's not as quick twitched as No. 11, but can be just as dangerous due to his ability to be more of a down the field receiver. He also brings added value in the return game and could compete with Tavon Austin to become the return specialist.
This could mean the Cowboys forgo drafting a wide receiver early in the 2019 NFL Draft, but I wouldn't put it past them. Regardless of what happens, this is an excellent addition.
Welcome to Cowboys Nation Randall Cobb!
REPORT: Dallas Cowboys Re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur
L.P. Ladouceur is returning for his 15th season as the Cowboys' long snapper. The veteran free agent was re-signed by Dalals today to a one-year deal.
Thanks to Jason Witten's one-year sabbatical with Monday Night Football, Ladouceur has now been with the Cowboys for more consecutive seasons than any current player. He just turned 38 last week, but Louis-Philippe remains one of the top long snappers in football.
The Cowboys have signed long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur to a one-year deal worth $1.03 million and $90,000 in bonus money, but he will count $735,000 against the cap. This will be Ladouceur's 15th season with the Cowboys, tying Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Mark... https://t.co/2iDsi6RX7e
Retaining Ladouceur is an underrated move for the Cowboys given their situation at kicker.
Brett Maher was only 80% accurate overall on field goals last year. The team could be considering an upgrade in free agency.
Whether they bring Maher back or try someone new, having a long snapper with Ladouceur's performance perfection will make things much easier for them.
REPORT: Police Detain Cowboys DL Tyrone Crawford After Bar Fight
According to TMZ, Tyrone Crawford was involved in a brawl at a bar in Panama City, FL last Friday night. The Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman and team captain was detained by police but apparently was not arrested.
The level of Crawford's involvement has not been substantiated, but TMZ's report does have him shoving police officers at some point in the action. The incident was reportedly captured by surveillance equipment at the bar.
Given that he was not arrested, one could assume that Tyrone was not one of the primary players in the melee. But that doesn't mean the NFL won't still review this matter as it relates to the personal conduct policy, and Cowboys fans know too well how "fair" that process can be.
This is certainly not a story you'd expect to see attached to Tyrone Crawford, who has been a model citizen and leader since entering the league in 2012.
Dallas elected to keep Crawford this season despite solid potential savings. He will count $10.1 million against their 2019 salary cap, which is high for his average production. However, he can play multiple positions and is one of their most experienced players.
Even if Tyrone were to get suspended by the league, it likely wouldn't be more than a one or two-game ban given his record and reputation. It shouldn't change anything about his status with the team.
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