By now you’ve probably heard that DeMarcus Lawrence is crushing it this season. The Cowboys defensive end has 3.5 sacks on the year, a handful of quarterback pressures, 12 combined tackles and one forced fumble on the year. That’s for only two weeks worth of work. Outstanding. What you might have also heard is that the rest of the Cowboys line is not really helping him out. Maliek Collins has half a sack and a fumble recovery, but only has three combined tackles on the year. Charles Tapper has a sack but outside of that one play has contributed little. Tyrone Crawford and Benson Mayowa have basically been invisible. Stephen Paea contributes in the run game along with the newly-acquired Brian Price. First-round pick Taco Charlton only has one tackle for loss to his name.
It won’t be long until opposing offenses are going to shift more resources toward containing Lawrence and take their chances with the rest of the defensive linemen. Lawrence needs some help. Fortunately, the Cowboys have two candidates (Damontre Moore, David Irving) to help him and one returns this week. Damontre Moore should be on the active roster this week, considering he’s been allowed to remain at the facility and workout over his two-week suspension. Reports are that he’s been actively engaged and getting his work in.
Moore was very disruptive during the preseason and in training camp, and he’s had the potential to be a force since his college days, only immaturity has kept him from reaching it. That may change this season.
This summer, Moore was able to work with and pick the brains of some of the best pass rushers the NFL has to offer.
Moore has become more of a student of the game since being a third-round pick coming out of Texas A&M in 2013. He took it to another level this offseason by going to a pass rush camp held by his old college teammate, Denver star Von Miller.
The camp was held at Stanford and Miller had several pass rushers on hand including DeMarcus Ware, Vic Beasley and Olivier Vernon.
“We learned from each other,” Moore said. “Everybody talked about what they look at in film and how they approach the game. Just try to pick up little tools and traits from everybody.”
The physical ability is there; the mental game, along with staying are out of trouble are the two things Moore needs to work on. He needs to understand how to use his gifts to their best effect, and he needs to stay on the field and away from suspensions.
With Benson Mayowa, Tyrone Crawford and Taco Charlton giving the Cowboys nothing substantial in the pass rush area, it’s time for the Cowboys to give Moore and extended look. He may just be the bookend Lawrence needs. Moore certainly believes that will be the case.
“I’m in the best shape of my life. I’ve been learning,” Moore said. “I feel like I’ve become more of a student of the game. It’s about improving each and every year. If you stay the same, you get replaced.
“For me, I’m not trying to get complacent at all. I feel like this will be the best year of my career.”