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What’s Next for the Cowboys After Trading for DE Robert Quinn?

Brian Martin

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What's Next for the Cowboys After Trading for DE Robert Quinn?

After weeks of waiting, the Dallas Cowboys have finally completed a trade with the Miami Dolphins that will bring Defensive End Robert Quinn to Dallas for the 2019 season.

Tom Pelissero on Twitter

Robert Quinn will do a new 1-year deal with the #Cowboys to complete the trade with the #Dolphins, per source. Some help at right end.

With Robert Quinn now in the mix, the Dallas Cowboys have pretty much filled all of the holes to their roster and can now enter the 2019 NFL Draft without having to focus on any one specific position. That means they can truly draft the best player available with each of their six draft picks, which should make things that much more interesting.

There is still several weeks to go until the first-round of the NFL Draft kicks off April 25, but don't expect the Cowboys to be sitting on their hands waiting. They still have quite a bit of work to do and could still make another move or two in free agency. But, their main focus now should shift towards DeMarcus Lawrence and what to do about his potential long-term extension.

It's been reported the Dallas Cowboys and DeMarcus Lawrence's representatives are still pretty far apart on the parameters of a new contract. Stephen Jones has even said the two sides are at an "impasse", which is more than a little concerning considering how important Lawrence is to the Cowboys defense.

I'm personally not too concerned the two sides won't be able to come to an agreement eventually, but I do find myself becoming a little more concerned the further these negotiation tactics get drawn out. Unfortunately, that's led me down the road of thinking about what the Cowboys could possibly do if they decided to trade DeMarcus Lawrence.

I'll go on the record right now by saying I think trading DeMarcus Lawrence is a bad idea. I just have a hard time seeing how they can immediately replace him. Having said that though, there is a trade scenario I could get on board with.

For arguments sake, let's say the New York Jets got on the phone and wanted to trade for DeMarcus Lawrence. What could the Cowboys get as compensation? To answer this, let's take a look at the Khalil Mack trade between the Oakland Raiders and the Chicago Bears.

Here's what went down to complete that trade:

Bears received Khalil Mack, a 2020 2nd-round pick, and a conditional 2020 5th-round pick

Raiders received 2019 1st-round pick, 2020 1st-round pick, 2020 3rd-round pick, and a 2019 6th-round pick.

Based on this information, the Dallas Cowboys should at least ask the Jets for their 2019 first-round draft pick (No. 3 overall) and their 2020 first-rounder. That may be enough to sway the Cowboys to trade away DeMarcus Lawrence, but for good measure they'd probably asked the Jets to throw in another mid-round pick this year or in 2020.

Let's pretend this happens. The Cowboys would now need to replace D-Law and now have two first-round draft picks and a potential mid-round pick from the Jets to do just that. That's not even mentioning the six draft picks they currently hold.

If it was me, I'd go ahead and draft Defensive Tackle Ed Oliver at No. 3 overall and then sign Free Agent DE Ziggy Ansah to play opposite the recently added DE Robert Quinn. I think between the three of them they could adequately replace some of Lawrence's loss of production.

This is all completely hypothetical, but if the Cowboys can't work out a contract extension with DeMarcus Lawrence, I think I would be on board if this is how they went about replacing No. 90 after trading him away. Ziggy Ansah is no D-Law, but a defensive line with Ansah, Ed Oliver, and Robert Quinn is pretty intriguing.

What do you think the Dallas Cowboys should do with DeMarcus Lawrence?



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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Dallas Cowboys: The Case For Regression In 2019

Kevin Brady

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Predicting Dallas Cowboys Roster Locks, Pre-Training Camp Edition
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

It's been a few years since things around the Dallas Cowboys felt this good prior to a season. Coming off a 10-6 year in which Dallas won both the NFC East and a home playoff game before losing a one possession road game to the future NFC champions, Cowboys Nation is expecting some big things in 2019.

After all, the Cowboys went out and improved their roster in multiple ways this offseason and brought in some new blood on their offensive coaching staff. Spirits are high among Cowboys Nation, and just about everyone is anticipating a two team race for the NFC East.

But some numbers indicate we should be thinking "not so fast."

The details of the 2018 season are not as pretty as the total picture. Rarely are they ever, of course, but these particular details point towards possible regression for the Cowboys in 2019.

Basically, their point differential a year ago spells out impending doom. (That was dramatic, but let's discuss).

The Cowboys were +15 in 2018, and by pythagorean wins expectation, they were about as strong as an 8-8 team (8.53 wins to be exact). This means they won nearly 2 more games (1.47) than would be expected, fourth most in the entire NFL.

This point is furthered when looking at their record in one possession games. Dallas went 8-2 when the game was decided by 7 points or less, winning close games at a rate that is simply not sustainable year to year.

These numbers make the Cowboys a prime candidate for regression in 2019, as they were in 2017.

Why The Numbers Expect Regression, But Success For Cowboys In 2017

Back in 2016, the Cowboys outperformed their pythagorean expectation by a whole 2 wins. The following season? Dallas finished the year 9-7. The model also indicated that the 7-9 Eagles performed 2 wins under expectations in 2016, meaning they would get back on track in 2017. As we know, they ended up winning 13 games and the Super Bowl the following season.

Of course, this isn't set-in-stone, and the Cowboys very well could outperform these expectations and avoid regression. This would mainly hinge on their coaching staff and quarterback performing at an elite level, carrying them through close games and winning more games by greater than one possession.



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Newly Acquired DE Robert Quinn Brings High Expectations

Kevin Brady

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Robert Quinn
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Winning games in the NFL typically comes down to accomplishing two goals. One, being successful when passing on offense. And, two, stopping the opposing team's passing game.

The Cowboys set out to accomplish that second goal this offseason, re-signing defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, and trading for veteran pass rusher Robert Quinn. Quinn, who tallied 6.5 sacks last season for the Miami Dolphins, is one of the leagues more feared rushers when at his best. The former All Pro has multiple 10+ sack seasons under his belt, including a whopping 19 in 2013.

And, as expected, the Cowboys coaching staff is ecstatic to have such a respected pass rushing specialist on their roster.

“He’s got that first step. He’s an established pass rusher in this league, so he’s going to bring some good stuff for us.” - Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli.

The Cowboys acquired Robert Quinn for a 2020 6th round pick, which could end up being the steal of the offseason. Quinn has played with some top-notch pass rushers in the past, and each time they have brought out the best in his own game.

Back with the Rams in 2017, when Aaron Donald was on the same defensive line, Quinn got to the quarterback 8.5 times. And, last season, he remained consistent in his sack totals playing alongside Cameron Wake. Now he joins a DeMarcus Lawrence who has 25 sacks over the last 2 seasons.

"I think it was kind of one of those where I get to have fun, pin my ears back and just disrupt the backfield, which is what they want us to do." - Robert Quinn told NFL.com. 

Quinn and the always dominant Lawrence will form an impressive defensive end duo on passing downs, with the potential to be one of the best in all of football. Dallas is also hoping to add Randy Gregory into this mix, a piece which could prove vital late in football games if he is able to return from his current indefinite suspension.

Whether or not Gregory finds his way back onto the field, though, this defensive front will be in good hands. The edge combo of Quinn and Lawrence, combined with a plethora of skilled interior rushers such as Maliek Collins, gives the Cowboys a fearsome defensive line which should keep quarterbacks uncomfortable every Sunday.



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Can Rookie OL Connor McGovern Compete For A Starting Spot?

Kevin Brady

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Connor McGovern

Raising eyebrows in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Cowboys added Penn State offensive lineman Connor McGovern to their already deep OL depth chart.

McGovern, who played guard for the Nittany Lions, was reportedly by-far the best player remaining on the Cowboys draft board when they came on the clock in round three. Still, with seemingly more pressing needs yet to be addressed, Dallas' selection of McGovern was certainly a surprise.

When you watch the tape, though, you immediately see what the Cowboys loved about Connor McGovern.

A "plug-and-play" type guard, Connor McGovern is the type of rookie you'd expect to contribute in year one. On many teams he may be a candidate to start at guard or center from the beginning of his rookie season, but here in Dallas, his role for the 2019 season is somewhat in question.

Clearly, being a day two pick, there's no doubt that McGovern will make the Cowboys roster. But can he compete for a starting job?

During OTA's McGovern took reps at both guard and center, pointing towards the possibility of him being the first interior offensive lineman off the bench if one of the starters were to go down with an injury. Fellow interior linemen Joe Looney and Xavier Su'a-Filo each contributed in big ways during the 2018 season, however, and will be tough to beat out during camp.

Obviously McGovern won't be starting over All-Pros Travis Frederick and Zack Martin, but could he dethrone Connor Williams from his left guard position?

While possible, I would still say it's unlikely. The Cowboys selection of McGovern seems to be more about 2020 and beyond than it is about the 2019 season. With right tackle La'el Collins coming up on a contract year, Dallas might elect to let him walk in free agency, move Williams back to his college position of tackle, and slide McGovern into the left guard slot.

This seems fool-proof in theory, but this many moving parts across the offensive line could spell trouble early on in 2020. Regardless, Connor McGovern's arrival gives Dallas the flexibility to consider all options on their offensive line.

In reality, McGovern strengthened a strength for Dallas, and may be needed to prove himself as early as this Fall if injury issues arise.



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