The Dallas Cowboys' pass-rush regressed in 2015. When a defense can get pressure on an opposing quarterback, it limits the time defensive backs have to stay on their man. It also changes a quarterback and their mental throwing clock. When Greg Hardy and Randy Gregory were added to the roster, it looked like the pass rush would improve, but it regressed.
Unfortunately, the scary thing is that the pass rush could get worse in 2016. With Gregory slated to sit out the first four games of the season due to suspension and Hardy likely not coming back for a variety of reasons, this defense could run into a ton of problems down the road. This offseason is vital for the Cowboys and the team's future. A few weeks ago, the idea of signing Olivier Vernon or Mario Williams in free agency seemed like a plausible idea, but because they received huge contracts, the Cowboys decided to hold off on shelling out the money and instead waited for the market to set itself and add the right players when the time is right.
This logic backfired in the way where the market kept clearing up and the Cowboys were window-shoppers rather than buyers. However, it was reported Wednesday night that the Cowboys are working on a deal to add an edge piece in Benson Mayowa. Silver & Black Pride's Levi Damien had this to say about Mayowa and the type of piece he can be:
"Mayowa has been a special teamer and sometimes defensive contributor for the Raiders. As an undrafted free agent, an original round tender would mean no compensation would be required should someone sign him. Even so, that could be enough to keep him."
NFL Network's Rand Getlin was the first to report the news:
As Getlin mentioned, Mayowa formerly played with the Seattle Seahawks and the Oakland Raiders. A University of Idaho product, Mayowa started his professional career with Seattle. Playing for the Seahawks, Mayowa was behind key players like Michael Bennett, Chris Clemons, and O'Brien Schofield. After being cut by the Seahawks, Mayowa was claimed by the Raiders, where he moved his way into a starting role.
By coming to the Cowboys, Mayowa will have all the opportunity in the world to take on more reps and opportunities to get after the quarterback. Despite playing three years in the NFL, Mayowa is only 24 years old and he's shown promise in limited opportunities.
Regardless of the addition, the Cowboys' biggest question mark is still the defensive end position. Mayowa is a guy the Cowboys have done their homework on, but it's worth noting that he's not exactly a game-changer. At 6'3, 240 pounds, he's a little light for the Cowboys' flavor at defensive end. However, because of his edge speed, he has the makings of a guy who can come in and rush the quarterback in nickel and dime packages with his speed, explosiveness, and athleticism off the edge.
One thing to remember is that Mayowa is a restricted free agent. If the Raiders value him and the contract isn't that much, which is something the Cowboys have valued all offseason, then there is a possibility that Mayowa finds himself back on the Raiders, leaving the Cowboys with the same question mark they've had all offseason. This will obviously be a story to follow in the coming days.