Thursday afternoon saw the Dallas Cowboys finally pull off a trade with the Miami Dolphins in order to acquire defensive end Robert Quinn. The move gives them some much-needed depth at a very important position in football.
This is the same Cowboys team that already boasted one of the NFL’s top defenses, at least going off of last season. Dallas relied on their defensive prowess to the tune of 10 wins, including an impressive victory over the New Orleans Saints where they only allowed 10 points.
Most of the band is coming back together in 2019 for the Cowboys, that is assuming DeMarcus Lawrence is back (we’ll put a bookmark in that for now). Randy Gregory is suspended indefinitely at the moment but Quinn will help mitigate (and potentially overcome) that loss. That means there’s a possibility the Cowboys could be even better.
Robert Quinn joining Rod Marinelli, and Kris Richard, has inquiring minds wondering whether they could be the NFL’s best defense in 2019. Good Morning Football kicked the idea around on Friday and all three analysts agreed there’s some merit to the idea.
Looking at the defense by position groups it’s hard to find a place where Dallas doesn’t have at least enough to get through a game. Assuming the best, and obviously no injuries, there’s definitely a case that no one is better.
Dallas will hopefully be headlined by Tank Lawrence as mentioned, and the addition of Quinn will fortify their group all the more. While there’s no David Irving for sure this season the Cowboys do also have Christian Covington and Kerry Hyder to add to an already-impressive group.
A lot will hinge on Taco Charlton taking the next step in his third season and Tyrone Crawford certainly has his moments every season (fingers crossed on no more issues with him). There’s a possibility that Dallas lands a defensive tackle with the 58th overall pick, and adding somebody to the rotation of Maliek Collins and Antwaun Woods certainly can’t hurt.
While Lawrence might be the headliner of the Cowboys defense, right there with him are, without question, Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith. The Cowboys are at a place where Sean Lee is a depth player for them, for crying out loud.
For so many years the Cowboys have operated to a degree where the most impressive position group on the team was the offensive line. In 2019, the linebackers will definitely challenge that with the three men up top and specialty players like Joe Thomas helping to make things interesting in depth situations.
Even though he just had hip surgery, we now live in a world where Byron Jones is a top cornerback in the NFL. With Chidobe Awuzie and Anthony Brown rounding out things, not to mention Jourdan Lewis as a fourth option, the state of that position is pretty stable.
Safety remains a question mark for the Cowboys as they are hoping that Xavier Woods takes the next step and for something to be figured out next to him. The Cowboys signed George Iloka and while that can certainly be a bridge of sorts the bridge has to lead to somewhere. Perhaps that’s to the 58th overall pick and a player like Johnathan Abram, or perhaps it’s to something else. Who knows.
Overall the Cowboys are definitely in the conversation for best defense in the NFL, but that’s such an ever-changing thing. Consider that the Jacksonville Jaguars looked like the next group that would dominate for a long time after the 2017 season and that they hardly repeated that form one year later.
The Chicago Bears are probably the team that most would say is the best defense right now, but there will be other challengers, too. Dallas has work to do if they want that top spot and a lot of their plans and hopes hinge on it happening.
Do the Cowboys have the top defense in the NFL?
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