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Why Benson Mayowa could be the Cowboys breakout player

Can the Cowboys defensive end make the leap to the next level?

NFL: Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

SB Nation has produced it’s annual NFL preview for your reading pleasure. There is a lot of great information in there, but we want to call out one particular segment. Former NFL player Stephen White has picked the breakout player for all 32 teams (something he’s done for the last three years).

For the Dallas Cowboys, White chose defensive end Benson Mayowa as his breakout player. Part of the rules for a breakout player is that they have to be two years removed from college, so that precludes rookies or second-year players.

White likes Mayowa as someone who is getting better through refining his technique, and he also plays the run better than you might think.

I like him as a run defender. He's good at getting his arms extended when taking on blockers and then shedding them to make a play. Mayowa is also good with movement and run stunts. He looks really quick when he goes laterally, and he knows how to get "skinny" to slip through a gap. He's a pretty good pass rusher because he has active hands and also turns his hips toward the quarterback while he's rushing.


Mayowa is about 6'3 and 250 pounds. He plays bigger than that, and he is as complete a defensive end as the Cowboys have on their roster. I understand people focusing on [Taco] Charlton and [David] Irving because those guys can ball. I'm just saying that if Mayowa stays healthy this year, I think he has a real chance to get to double-digit sacks.

Double-digit sacks? That would be tremendous if he could pull that off. Mayowa had an up-and-down 2016. He was a starter at the beginning of the year, but played so poorly that he was actually benched for a series of games in the middle of the year. When he finally got back into action, it was like a light bulb went off and he finally started to show promise. He had four sacks over the last five games. So that was definitely encouraging.

So BTB, what do you say? Can you envision Mayowa breaking out and becoming a double-digit sack guy?


How many sacks will Benson Mayowa get in 2017?

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