When the Dallas Cowboys added premier pass rusher Robert Quinn to their roster this offseason, did they land themselves a double-digit sacker?
The Dallas Cowboys fielded one of the top defenses in the NFL last season. Tied for sixth in scoring defense last season, allowing just 20.3 points per game to opposing offenses, the Cowboys’ pass rush was a major part of their success.
The Cowboys two starting defensive ends, DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory, posted a combined 16.5 sacks in 2018. Lawrence actually hit double-digit sack totals for the second-year in a row with 10.5 by himself.
But this offseason, the defensive end position suddenly became a concern for the Cowboys. Gregory, who posted 6.0 sacks last season, received his second indefinite suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Although the Cowboys seem unusually confident that Gregory will return soon, the former second-rounder has missed a whopping 36 games out of a possible 64 due mostly to drug-related suspensions.
Veteran defensive end Tyrone Crawford could be looking at his own suspension following an offseason incident at a Florida bar. This would leave the Cowboys decimated at the position with underwhelming former first-rounder Taco Charlton and less experienced 2018 fourth rounder Dorance Armstrong likely filling those voids.
But the Cowboys bought themselves a massive insurance policy when they traded a sixth-round selection in 2020 to the Miami Dolphins for 29-year old veteran defensive end Robert Quinn. Originally the 14th overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft, Quinn spent his first seven seasons as a member of the now Los Angeles Rams.
A two-time Pro Bowler, Quinn was traded to Miami last season in exchange for a fourth-round pick and the swapping of sixth rounders. The veteran defender posted 38 total tackles and 6.5 sacks as a 16 game starter for the Dolphins in 2018.
Here’s how Bryan Broaddus, football analyst for DallasCowboys.com, responded to a recent mailbag question concerning the impact Quinn might have in Dallas this upcoming season.
"“I believe Quinn is going to have a bigger impact. With this group around him I believe he could have 8-10 sacks. They will keep him fresh and will put him in situations where he can do some damage rushing the passer. I am excited to see him play.”"
The fact Broaddus believes Quinn is capable of double-digit sacks in the Cowboys’ defense is huge. It could very well catapult this already impressive defensive unit to new heights in 2019. During his eight-year career, Quinn has posted double-digit sacks three times between 2012-2014. His highest sack total in the past four seasons was 8.5 back in 2017.
Robert Quinn is certainly seen as an upgrade to an unproven, and yet so far unreliable, Randy Gregory in Dallas. But there is some speculation that the Cowboys’ may opt to have Quinn come off the bench to best utilize his pass rush ability as well as limit his snaps to keep him rested and healthy for the entire season. Prior to 2018, Quinn has missed 16 games during the previous three years due to injury.