The Dallas Cowboys forgotten defensive acquisition
We examine the acquisition and potential impact that a new Dallas Cowboys forgotten defender could have on the upcoming season.
Last offseason the Dallas Cowboys knew that the defensive pass rush was a major reason they were unable to advance in the playoffs past the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round.
Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones watched as Packers’ All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers continually evaded the lackluster pressure or stood in a clean pocket and picked apart the Dallas secondary.
The effort from the defensive line in that game is often overlooked due to “the catch” by wide out Dez Bryant. But it was undoubtedly a big part of why the Cowboys were sent home with a loss.
The direct result of that game was none other than Greg Hardy. Jerry felt that a play maker at defensive end could propel the team to the Super Bowl, and so as he often does, he gambled. Taking a risk on an elite talent like Hardy came with immense criticism and was met with mixed results on the field and disappointing behavior off it.
And so, the team was again at a crossroads this offseason. Deciding to let Hardy walk in free agency they were left with a major hole at a key starting defensive position. Of course big name free agents were thrown around in the same sentences as the Cowboys; but as the dust settled and millions of dollars were spent on high-profile free agents, Dallas stood quiet and waited.
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Just as Cowboys fans were at their tipping point, ready to call the upcoming season a wash due to the lack of free agent moves rumors began circulating. Not rumors of a leftover, aging, high-priced player. Instead a restricted free agency by the name of Benson Mayowa was being linked to the team.
Soon the team would sign Mayowa to an offer sheet that the Raiders would choose not to match. And so, Dallas became the proud home of the 6’3″ 240-lb Idaho product with 2 career sacks under his belt in three years of action.
It’s easy to forget about Mayowa as the offseason progresses. With the sexier additions of Charles Tapper and Maliek Collins along the defensive line Benson is often overlooked when discussing potential contributors this year.
Don’t be quick to forget Mayowa’s name so early because you could be hearing it a lot sooner than later.
For starters, the team went out of their way to go out and sign a restricted free agent to an offer sheet, something teams rarely do. There were reports that the team had their eye on the defensive end as early as his rookie year and the suspensions along the defensive line mean Benson could be the teams week one starter.
Bryan Broaddus of DallasCowboys.com recently said on the Cowboys weekly radio show Cowboys Break that, while these OTA practices are only in gym shorts, Benson has looked quick off of the edge. Combine that with coaching from known defensive maestro Rod Marinelli, and the team could be in for a pleasant surprise when it comes to the former Raider’s production this season.
While Mayowa may not have been the name most Cowboys fans were lusting for when the free agency signing period opened (Here’s looking at you Olivier Vernon) he could be just as productive. Vernon had just 7 sacks last season and if Benson is able to win the starting job it is reasonable to expect that type of production from the right side rusher.
So before you forget about the Dallas Cowboys new number 93 give him a chance to convince the fan base that the front office was right to keep an eye on him for the past few years. He may not be talked about so much right now, but it could be just a matter of time until the restricted free agent signee becomes a known play maker among the Dallas fan base.
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