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 email@example.com!
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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