With a quiet free agency for the Dallas Cowboys, the last few days have picked up the pace. A cornerback, defensive end and running back are due to visit.
With a relatively quiet free agency for the Dallas Cowboys so far, the last few days have picked up the pace. Cornerback Patrick Robinson has been inked in to visit along with running back Alfred Morris. The Cowboys have also offered a contract to defensive end Benson Mayowa which his current team the Oakland Raiders have five days to match.
No ground breaking Greg Hardy type deals, but consider this a case of the hare and the tortoise. Slow and steady win the race. The Cowboys are attempting to recruit veteran pieces to pad out their squad. Throwing money at inconsistent names has hurt them before. Building a young team via the draft is their mantra, but depth and experience is vital.
If the Cowboys are to successfully sign Robinson, Morris and Mayowa the all round depth of the squad would look far better. However there’s still that glaring lack of sacks among the defensive line. Of the defensive line players currently under contract they’ve played 200 career games with just 23.5 tackles between them. Mayowa has just two sacks to his name – hardly a case of enter the pass rush master.
Greg Hardy is still a free agent. It’s hard to imagine a bigger circus around him than he brought to Dallas last year. If the Cowboys were to re-sign him they’d add an immensely talented albeit inconsistent pass rusher. Hardy should be into double figure sacks in full year.
Sticking with the questionable characters, what about Aldon Smith? Currently suspended for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, Smith was released by the 49ers last year after being arrested for DUI (for not the first time).
Smith won’t be eligible to play until November but were his head to be in the right place and troubles behind him he’s an incredible player. Former first round pick with a pro bowl appearance and 47 sacks in 59 career games. Baller.
Hardy and Smith are both still on the free market because of those major question marks over their character and commitment. The talent this teams just isn’t on the free market right now.
The other option then is of course the draft. Joey Bosa has been consistently pegged as a favorite for the Cowboys to draft with their 4th overall pick. The Ohio State defensive end is by no means that pure pass rusher the Cowboys ultimately long for. But he’d bring a hugely disruptive presence to the defensive line. If the sacks don’t fall to him, then there’s the opportunity for others to cash in.
When the Cowboys drafted DeMarcus Lawrence in 2014 it was as a right sided defensive end. The addition of Hardy and Randy Gregory last year saw Lawrence flip to left end. He notched eight sacks from what’s considered the more difficult position.
With Bosa more disruptive than pass rush ready, the Cowboys could put Lawrence back to his more natural position and play Bosa on the left side. With his third year in the team Lawrence will have the opportunity to become the defensive leader on the line while Bosa could be afforded the luxury of bedding in without the expectation of ten plus sacks.
"“Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli will get a defensive end who perfectly matches his work ethic. Bosa may not be J.J. Watt, but he’ll work just as hard. Bosa is one of those admired football players who lifts players around him as they try to match his effort. Bosa is not a quick-twitch, pure pass-rusher, so don’t expect a 15-sack season, but if healthy, Bosa will consistently deliver 10 sacks per year and dominate his space in the running game” – Cris Collinsworth, PFF"
Under Jason Garrett, the Dallas Cowboy have built via the draft an offensive line that is expected to dominate the league for the next ten years. By drafting Joey Bosa, they would have two players under 24 to begin to mold the defensive line in similar fashion.
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