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Who Benefits the Most from Randy Gregory’s Cowboys Camp Absence?

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Headlines - How Benson Mayowa Benefits from Randy Gregory's Training Camp Absence 1

Hey you! Yes, you, Inside The Star reader and presumed Dallas Cowboys fan. How many career NFL sacks do you have?

If you answered zero, then congratulations. You are only two career sacks behind the two Cowboys' defensive ends that we are about to talk about. (Note: If your answer was not zero, please book the next available flight to Oxnard, California and line up at DE for the Dallas Cowboys).

Cowboys Nation on Twitter

Tony Romo is only 9.5 sacks behind the current career sack leaders on the Cowboys roster.

The state of the Cowboys' pass rush is in complete dismay, with news dropping on Tuesday that the already-suspended Randy Gregory will miss training camp due to another series of failed drug tests that forced him to check into a rehab facility. Of course, these failed drug tests for Gregory will also lengthen the amount of games that his suspension will last, which could now be anywhere from 10-14 games.

While this news was certainly rattling, fans that were expecting a lot of production come week 5 from Randy Gregory were probably overly optimistic about this team's pass rush entering 2016. Even with all the camp reps that Gregory could have been getting, the second year player would best be treated as a rookie defensive end come his return to the field, and rookie defensive ends don't burst onto the scene to terrorize quarterbacks.

Now, even those summer training camp snaps against the best offensive line in football are gone for Gregory, and Benson Mayowa will benefit the most. Mayowa was the team's answer this off season to this glaring need at defensive end that has existed for far too long, being signed to a three year deal that was not matched by the Oakland Raiders.

At first glance, teams do not let quality young pass rushers slip away like the Raiders did here, but Mayowa actually started his career in Seattle - being waived after just two games. An unproven player stuck behind a solid starter, with all the physical abilities and tools to become an impact player, is exactly what the Cowboys needed to deliver to Rod Marinelli - the defensive coordinator that gets the best out of every pass rusher - and Mayowa is exactly that.

Under DC Rod Marinelli, the Cowboys defense has become known for its rotation along the defensive line. The term "starter" has become a relative role, as waves of pass rushers throw different looks at opposing offenses throughout the game. While this will certainly continue to some extent in 2016, the first shot at the right defensive end position is going to go to the 25 year old Benson Mayowa.

The potential rotational depth backing up Mayowa on the right side certainly isn't stunning, as the likes of Charles Tapper and Jack Crawford could see the most chances behind him. Benson Mayowa, in his first training camp with the Dallas Cowboys, is now going to get a golden opportunity to get incredibly valuable reps against the likes of Tyron Smith and the rest of Dallas' offensive line.

The Dallas Cowboys knew they could offer Benson Mayowa the chance he had yet to be given in the National Football League, but they certainly didn't expect to not be able to work with Randy Gregory this summer. Instead, they'll work with Mayowa, who should be ready to put his head down and get to work on each and every snap.

If Mayowa is unable to prove with this expanded role throughout camp that he can be relied on to any extent as a pass rusher for this defense, he is going to be forced to watch the Cowboys look outside the current roster for help at defensive end. In just the first year of his first long-term contract, this would certainly catch the attention of and hopefully motivate Mayowa into becoming even more productive for the Cowboys during the season.

The Dallas Cowboys are preparing to enter a season in which they have Super Bowl aspirations, while simultaneously relying on Benson Mayowa to put pressure on the opposition's quarterback...and there might not be a whole lot wrong with it.

Do you think Benson Mayowa can take advantage of his opportunity with the Cowboys during training camp? Share your expectations for the newly-signed DE by commenting below or emailing Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com.

Tell us what you think about "Who Benefits the Most from Randy Gregory’s Cowboys Camp Absence?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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REPORT: Cowboys Visiting With Free Agent S Eric Berry Tuesday

Brian Martin

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REPORT: Cowboys Visiting With Free Agent S Eric Berry Tuesday

According to Ian Rapoport, the Dallas Cowboys have a meeting scheduled to visit with Free Agent Safety Eric Berry Tuesday at The Star.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Source: Former #Chiefs S and new free agent Eric Berry is visiting the #Cowboys on Tuesday. His first visit. They have a need there...

Eric Berry has spent his entire career with the Kansas City Chiefs after they drafted him fifth overall in the 2010 NFL Draft. After signing Earl Thomas last week, the Chiefs decided to part ways with their former All-Pro Safety.

Berry, 30 is an intriguing free agent for the Dallas Cowboys. When healthy, he is arguably one of the best safeties in the league. Unfortunately, injuries have kept him off the field these last few seasons causing him to only start in only three games since 2016.

This is a move many of us expected to happen after the Cowboys decided not to get into a bidding war for Earl Thomas, a player linked to Dallas for over a year now. In Berry, Cowboys Nation would be getting a similar player with the same kind of red flags. Both Thomas and Berry have to be approached with caution due to their injury history the past few years.

Depending on his asking price, Eric Berry absolutely makes sense for the Dallas Cowboys. He would be an upgrade over Jeff Heath and would pair well with the Cowboys up-and-coming three-year safety Xavier Woods.

This is still just a visit, so we should probably get our hopes up that a signing is imminent. But, I think we can all agree Eric Berry is exactly the "right kind of guy" Jason Garrett is always preaching about. He's a cancer survivor, five-time Pro Bowler, and All-Pro player. What's not to like!?



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BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Signed DE Kerry Hyder

Brian Martin

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BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Signed DE Kerry Hyder

The Dallas Cowboys added more defensive line help today after signing former Detroit Lions Defensive End Kerry Hyder.

Kerry Hyder Jr. on Twitter

Going back to Texas! #CowboysNation

Kerry Hyder provides more depth at the defensive end position and as a chance to become the starter opposite DeMarcus Lawrence while Randy Gregory is out serving his suspension.

Hyder, 27 originally signed as an undrafted free agent out of Texas Tech with the New York Jets in 2014. He spent a year in New York before signing a future/reserve contract with the Detroit Lions in January 2015.

He had a breakout eight-sack year with the Lions in 2016, but tore his Achilles in 2017 causing him to miss the entire season. In 2018 he had just one quarterback sack after Detroit switched to a 3-4 defensive scheme.

Overall, this is a good depth signing by the Dallas Cowboys. Kerry Hyder has starting potential, but shouldn't keep the Cowboys from upgrading the position further through either another free agent signing for the draft.



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Dallas Cowboys 2019 Free Agency: Week One Recap

Jess Haynie

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Tavon Austin

It's been just a week since NFL free agents could begin negotiating with other teams, but it feels like a lifetime for anxious Cowboys fans. Dallas' seemingly passive approach to 2019 free agency has left many disappointed. Still, there are some moves to recap.

As has become their strategy in recent years, the Cowboys have focused on filling up their depth chart and trying to avoid any glaring holes prior to next month's draft. They've re-signed several backups and added at least one likely rotation player.

It's still far too early to judge Dallas' activity. Comparing the 2019 roster to last year will depend heavily on the draft, growth from current players, and other factors. But with the "second wave" of free agency upon us, it's a good time to look at who's come, gone, and stuck around so far.

New Arrivals

  • TE Jason Witten (unretired)
  • TE Codey McElroy (Rams)
  • DT Christian Covington (Texans)

The biggest addition so far this offseason wasn't even a free agent, at least not in the purest sense of the term. Jason Witten's surprising return from retirement helped shore up one of Dallas' biggest needs, though it may not preclude them from drafting a tight end high in April.

Also at tight end, Dallas signed developmental project Codey McElroy. His experience is in baseball and basketball, having played just one year of college football. But at 6'6'" and 255 lbs., and having spent last year working with the Rams, the Cowboys must see something they're intrigued by.

Last week Dallas signed Christian Covington, who had 3.5 sacks for Houston in 2018 playing as a 3-4 defensive end. He should move to DT in the Cowboys' scheme and should be a solid addition to their rotation.

Dallas Cowboys 2019 Free Agency: Week One Recap

Former Cowboys WR Cole Beasley, now with the Buffalo Bills. (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)

Departures

  • WR Cole Beasley (Bills)
  • TE Geoff Swaim (Jaguars)
  • DL David Irving (shenanigans)
  • LB Damien Wilson (Chiefs)

Beasley is heading to Buffalo on a four-year, $29 million deal. It appeared the relationship soured between Cole and Dallas over his playing time last year, and clearly the Cowboys didn't fight hard to keep him.

Damien Wilson followed Anthony Hitchens to Kansas City to help round out their linebacker corps. Once it was announced that Dallas was hanging on to Sean Lee in 2019, it was fairly certain that Wilson wouldn't be back.

Also not expected back was TE Geoff Swaim, who signed with Jacksonville. Even before Witten came back, Dallas appeared likely to stick with Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz for returning talent and then add an upgrade via free agency or the draft.

While still a free agent, nobody expects David Irving back in Dallas or even the NFL after recent activities. Irving appears focused on a Hollywood career and advocating for medical marijuana use at this point.

Keepers

  • FB Jamize Olawale
  • WR Tavon Austin
  • WR Allen Hurns (team option)
  • OT Cam Fleming
  • G/C Joe Looney (team option)
  • DE DeMarcus Lawrence (franchise tag)
  • DT Daniel Ross (ERFA)
  • LB Justin March-Lillard
  • S Darian Thompson

While Dallas put the franchise tag on prized pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence, his return in 2019 is far from settled. Lawrence has previously sworn he wouldn't play under a second franchise tag this year, and last we heard the two sides are far apart on a long-term deal. Could a holdout be on the horizon?

The Cowboys doubled-down on WR depth by re-signing Tavon Austin and exercising their team option on Allen Hurns' contract. Both are able to play out of the slot, meaning we could see more of a rotation approach to replacing Cole Beasley next year.

Dallas also re-signed fullback Jamize Olawale, which was a surprise given his low usage rate last year. Perhaps the change to Kellen Moore at offensive coordinator was behind this one, hoping to take better advantage of Olawale's receiving skills going forward.

Joe Looney and Cam Fleming will also be back as valuable backups on the offensive line. Looney started 16 games last year at center and also helps at guard, while Fleming will be the swing tackle once again for his second season in Dallas.

On defense, Dallas kept Daniel Ross in their DT rotation after solid performance in 2018. Justin March-Lillard return at linebacker, particularly for his value on special teams. And Darian Thompson, a former third-round pick by the Giants, is back as an ongoing developmental player.

~ ~ ~

Today we're already seeing a flourish of free agent activity in Dallas. Reports this morning have them meeting with WR Randall Cobb and S Clayton Geathers, and we haven't even had lunch yet.

If this is any indication, next week's recap may have a lot more to discuss.



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