With an impending suspension weakening an already thin unit, the Dallas Cowboys must address the defensive line early in this year’s draft.
Going into the start of free agency and the subsequent NFL draft, here’s what the Dallas Cowboys defensive unit consists of:
And now you can subtract Gregory from that list for probably the first four games of the 2016 season, thanks to his decision to use illegal substances, unless he is somehow able to appeal the decision and get it reduced.
You don’t have to be an expert at reading between the lines when you see the official statement released by Stephen Jones, executive vice president and de facto decision maker for this organization
"“This is a disappointment. We have been clear with Randy about what his responsibilities are and what is expected of him. This is something that he is going to have to work through and correct.”"
Sometimes, when disciplining your kids, letting them know they have disappointed you can speak much louder than anger or any other emotion. Saying this is some he is going to have work through and correct already provides a little bit of separation from Gregory, putting it directly him on to fix his own mess.
Of course, Gregory has created his own separation from the team by making poor and selfish decisions leading us to this situation in the first place.
So, what to the Cowboys do now?
As you can tell from the list above, there is not a lot of proven sack artists to be found. In fact, no one on this team has more than eight sacks… in their entire career.
More from The Landry Hat
- 3 ways Cowboys’ Dak Prescott can have a bounce-back season in 2023
- Cowboys News: Dallas sets pre-draft visit with potential Dalton Schultz upgrade
- NFL executives heaping praise on offseason is uncharted territory for Cowboys
- 3 free agent signings from NFC East rivals that left Cowboys fans laughing
- Cowboys News: Brandin Cooks sends flattering message to CeeDee Lamb, Stephon Gilmore
For a team that has not finished better than 25th in the entire league in each of the last three seasons in that category, missing anyone who can actually pressure a quarterback for any amount of time is detrimental to the success level of the defense.
I’ve discussed the options via free agency over the past couple of weeks and that will likely be one way this team tries to cope with the loss of their second round pick from last year however the best would be to utilize the draft to address the defensive line.
Even when Gregory does return, there is no constant threat on the edge that teams have to worry about. Sure he can beat his man occasionally, but having registered zero sacks in twelve games as rookie and playing less than 25% of the defensive snaps last year leaves a lot to be desired.
If the Cowboys elect to address another need such as cornerback or linebacker with the fourth overall choice, the high second pick absolutely needs to be a defensive lineman and maybe even the third rounder as well.
If you don’t think having the hounds to unleash after the quarterback matters, here’s some news for you.
The two participants in the Super Bowl for the 2010 season finished first and fourth overall in sacks. The following year, the New York Giants finished fourth overall in sacks. They won the Super Bowl. In 2012, the Denver Broncos led the league in sacks. They won 13 games. Three years later, the led the league in sacks and won the Super Bowl. Lastly, the 2013 Carolina Panthers led the league in sacks and won 12 games.
Three teams in the last five years that finished in the top five in sacks hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. The other two years, the two best teams at putting the quarterback on the ground combined for 25 wins.
Losing Gregory hurts depth during the first quarter of the year and likely stunts his growth to some degree.
The Cowboys must use the resources they have to upgrade this position immediately to cover themselves whether this happens again or simply to be the kind of team they want to be.
Thank you for reading the above article. It’s our sincere hope you’ll visit our site often as we work really hard to provide Cowboys fans with fresh, daily content about their favorite team. Please feel free to take part in further discussions about this topic below in our comment section. All we ask is that each participant is respectful in both their responses and towards others. Thanks again and…Go Cowboys!