Dallas Cowboys draft: A day two pass rusher to consider

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02: Defensive tackle Rasheem Green
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02: Defensive tackle Rasheem Green /

The Dallas Cowboys invested their first round pick in last year’s draft on a pass rusher. Would they be willing to draft another in the second round in 2018?

For the Dallas Cowboys, finding themselves a War Daddy pass rusher was priority number one last offseason. In the draft, the Cowboys used their first round pick to draft Michigan defensive end Taco Charlton.

But Charlton was a bit of a developmental project and far from a War Daddy. Instead, veteran DeMarcus Lawrence exploded in 2017, becoming one of the league’s best pass rushers recording 14.5 sacks for the season, which was tied for second-most in the NFL.

Lawrence is expected to either be franchise tagged or signed to a lengthy contract this offseason, making him a Cowboy for the foreseeable future. Combining his play with the young Charlton, Dallas’ appears to have a talented rushing duo they will rely on for years to come.

So is defensive end really a need for the Cowboys in the upcoming NFL draft? Beyond Lawrence and Charlton, Dallas possesses some role-playing veterans and unproven youngsters at the position.

The depth chart includes names like Benson Mayowa, Tyrone Crawford and Charles Tapper. Players like David Irving, Lewis Neal and Datone Jones can play defensive end as well, shifting from interior tackle back outside. Then there is former second rounder, Randy Gregory, who is currently suspended for drug related issues. His possibility of return is currently unknown.

So, the Cowboys certainly have bodies they can throw at the position. But they are also one key injury away from possessing the same underwhelming pass rush they had for years prior to Lawrence’s breakout season in 2017.

So even though pass rusher isn’t a top priority, if the Cowboys feel the right player falls to them in the draft, there’s no reason to think they wouldn’t draft him. And one draft guru believes he knows a perfect candidate for Dallas in the second round.

"“I think a guy that’s interesting on the second day, Rasheem Green from USC, third-year junior,” NFL Network’s Mike Mayock told the Dallas Morning News. “He probably came out a year early. However, massive body. I don’t think he’s ready to handle the interior defensive line, just not strong enough yet. I think he can be a base end and kick inside to help the sub-rush. I think he’s an intriguing player.”"

In the 6-foot-4, 270 pound Rasheem Green, the Cowboys would be taking on another project player who could turn out to be a top-level talent down the road. He played mostly defensive tackle at USC, but his numbers, 41 total tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and 10.0 sacks in 11 games last year, are hard to argue with.

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For me, I saw a player who was a bit slow off the line of scrimmage and who often struggles to get separation from his blockers. Green also appears to be a better left defensive end candidate due to his ability to stop the run. But he does have raw talent, similar to Taco Charlton, that can be molded into whatever you need from the position. It’s just a matter of how long it takes. As the old saying goes, you can never have enough pass rushers.