Dallas Cowboys: Is it 2020 or bust for these five defenders?

Jourdan Lewis, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)
Jourdan Lewis, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images) /
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Dorance Armstrong, Dallas Cowboys
Dorance Armstrong, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Dorance Armstrong, DE

There has been a lot of talk about the defensive end position in Dallas. With the team’s 2019 sack leader, Robert Quinn, leaving the Cowboys to join the Miami Dolphins via free agency, who will take up his mantle has been a pivotal offseason question.

The Cowboys signed Aldon Smith, a former All-Pro who was recently reinstated after spending several years out of football. There’s also hope former second-rounder Randy Gregory could make a return if he’s reinstated from his latest suspension.

Veteran Tyrone Crawford is a likely candidate to start in place of the missing Quinn. And Dallas also landed a talented rookie pass rusher in Bradlee Anae out of Utah with the final selection in the fifth round of this year’s draft.

But the one defensive end no one seems to be talking about is Dorance Armstrong. And that’s likely due to his first two underperforming seasons in Dallas. A fourth-round selection out of Kansas in 2018, Armstrong recorded 15 tackles, four quarterback hits, and 2.0 sacks in 15 games last year.

Entering his third season with the Cowboys, Armstrong has had two years to develop and take on a more impactful role in Dallas. Last season, the 22-year old played 262 defensive snaps, which was about 25 percent of the time. Armstrong was a bigger contributor on special teams.

Under new management in Dallas, Armstrong no longer has the support of the coaching staff in Dallas that drafted him. So the young defensive end could easily find himself on the outside looking in if he’s unable to show a better return on the team’s two-year-plus investment.