2. Defensive line depth
Losing Randy Gregory was less than ideal but the Cowboys might have actually been saved from a mistake there. While Gregory is a very talented pass-rusher, he’s also been injured often in his career and is approaching 30. A player still considered a developing talent at that age — who has never had more than six sacks in a season — would have been a gamble at $14 million per season.
Even with that being said, the Cowboys didn’t do a great job replacing him. Dante Fowler, Jr. has had his ups and downs, and rookie Sam Williams could be a good player down the road but might not make a huge impact as a rookie.
Dorance Armstrong is there as well, and he could wind up being the starter across from DeMarcus Lawrence. He’s an underrated player but doesn’t offer the explosion Gregory did.
What’s worse is despite the questions at defensive end, this isn’t the real concern on the defensive line. Dallas (once again) is entering the season without much depth at all at defensive tackle.
As of now, it appears Neville Gallimore and Osa Odighizuwa will be the two starters with Carlos Watkins and rookie John Ridgeway as the primary reserves. They do have Trysten Hill, but counting on him at this point feels like a mistake.
The predicted starters do both have the tools to be a success but Gallimore is coming off a season where he played just five games due to injury, and while Odighizuwa started out strong, he faded near the end of the year.
Despite the questions there, Dallas added a mere fifth-round pick to the group this offseason, meaning they’re banking solely on players taking the next step in their development. It could work but this position has been a weakness for so long that it would have been nice to see them provide some insurance.