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Who Should Cowboys Name as DeMarcus Lawrence’s Counterpart?

Which defensive and is best suited to start opposite DeMarcus Lawrence?

From veterans to rookies, drafted or undrafted, the Dallas Cowboys have put together a talented group of defensive ends this offseason. As impressive as this group is on paper, there’s still a lot of unknown as to who they will name as DeMarcus Lawrence’s counterpart for the 2020 season.

We all know DeMarcus Lawrence will once again start on the left side, but who starts opposite him this year is still completely up in the air right now. The Dallas Cowboys of course have some really good options on the roster, but ultimately it’ll probably come down to either Tyrone Crawford, Aldon Smith, or Randy Gregory.

A case can be made for any of the three above-mentioned players to start this year. Odds are we will see them in a rotation, but for the fun of it let’s pretend the Dallas Cowboys have to pick one to start opposite D-Law. Which one of them is the best suited to replace Robert Quinn at right defensive end this season?

Tyrone Crawford, Aldon Smith, and Randy Gregory are no doubt starting caliber players a lot of teams would love to have on their roster. Sadly though, all three also carry a weight of risk that simply can’t be overlooked. Crawford is coming off double hip surgery, Smith hasn’t played in the league since 2015, and Gregory missed the entire 2019 season due to suspension.

Randy Gregory
Dallas Cowboys DE Randy Gregory

As you can imagine, naming any one of these players as the starter right now would be unwise. No one really knows how they will bounce back after their time away from the game, whether it was due to injury or suspension. However, for the fun of it I’m going to share with you who I’d go with…

Come on down Randy Gregory!!!

Okay listen, I know Randy Gregory has spent more time in the NFL suspended then he has on the field, however, I believe he’s the most talented pass rusher the Dallas Cowboys currently have on the roster. His length, speed, bend, and ankle flexion sets him apart from Tyrone Crawford and Aldon Smith in my opinion. Those intangibles easily help him capture the edge.

I don’t think there’s ever been any question about Randy Gregory’s talent. His downfall thus far in his career, even dating back to college, was his decision to self medicate using marijuana to treat his anxiety. Now that that’s no longer an issue in the NFL, we may now finally see just how good he can really be.

I don’t know about you, but I’m personally hoping Randy Gregory can pick up where he left off prior to being handed a year-long suspension in 2019. I truly believe he’s the Dallas Cowboys best option to start opposite DeMarcus Lawrence. Now all he has to do is go out there and prove me right.

Who do you think the Dallas Cowboys should name as D-Law’s counterpart?

What do you think?

Brian Martin

Written by Brian Martin

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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  1. Assuming all reach their previous “best” capabilities …

    Aldon Smith would start and receive the lions share of all obvious passing situations.

    Randy Gregory would be 2nd man up for pass rush expertise (and Smith could even slide to Lawrence’s side for 3-6 snaps as a better pass rushing option than Armstrong).

    Crawford would serves RE when teams are more likely to run? Otherwise, the majority og his snaps come out of the DT position in obvious passing downs (for Poe).

    Lots of ways to get everyone involved, but I think that if they all get back to their previous levels, Smith is the only dominate player.

    • Bill, if it was me I’d go with Lawrence on the left, Gregory on the right, Smith at the 3-tech, and Crawford or Gerald McCoy at the 1-tech in obvious passing down situations. That gets all of your best pass rushers on the field at the same time and would make quite a nightmare for opposing offensive lines.

  2. I see alot of pundits penciling in Crawford next to Lawrence as the starter. I just don’t see what people see in him…..I mean he is solid against the run but has never shown skills as a pass rusher, and if Lawrence doesn’t get some help he will be double and triple teamed all yr. negating his effectiveness. I’m only assuming Crawford starting is contingent on Smith/Gregory getting back to some semblance of their former selves. If Crawford is starting more then a few games, we are in trouble. Your right Bill in that Smith is the only one of those three i see as being potentially impactful. Gregory has flashed some pass rushing skills in the past but in a small sample size. Not necessarily enamored with him either and see him as more as an undersized one trick pony. I hope he proves me wrong,

    • Right now, Crawford is by far the most reliable to play opposite D-Law. As a peer pass rusher I think Gregory is the best. His athleticism and speed off the edge sets him apart IMO. Smith is more of a power rusher like Crawford, but a more athletic one. That’s just my opinion though for what it’s worth.

  3. Just seems to me that they have Poe/McCoy to anchor against the run and provide some push up the middle. I understand Crawford is versatile and can play end or tackle, but I envision him as very key back up at both those positions who can also give the starters breathers throughout the game. I feel that is value to the team. In my opinion that end position opposite Lawrence HAS to provide consistent pressure on the QB as Lawrence can’t do it by himself. In todays passing league if u can’t pressure the QB ur toast. All the more reason either Gregory and/or Smith HAVE to acclimate themselves quickly and provide that for us. If neither one of them are impactful we are in trouble.

  4. I think Aldon Smith would be the best option coming off the right side, and then Gregory!! Crawford is just not good as an edge rusher!! If you look at Crawfords stats you’ll see that most if not all of his sacks came from him playing at DT…. Now Smith and Gregory are pure edge rushers and if they both play at their best it’s obvious Smith is the best player out of the 2!! Gregory had his best season a couple seasons ago with 6 sacks while Smith set records in sacks in his first 2 seasons in the league…. He had 19.5 as a rookie!! If he comes back and does just half of that this season he’ll still have more sacks than Gregory ever has!! So again…. Aldon Smith is my choice!!

  5. If we stick with 3-4 front… What’s stopping ASmith/RGregory from being an OLB¿

    ASmith played role in Nolan’s SF tenure.

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