When it comes to the Dallas Cowboys defensive end group the conversation obviously starts with DeMarcus Lawrence. Tank provides Dallas with the war daddy that Jerry Jones long coveted, but what about everybody else? There are a lot of hopes pinned towards Randy Gregory in 2021 - getting out in front of his contract situation wouldn’t be a bad idea by the way - and while it has been awesome to see the team continually support him, we still don’t know exactly who he will be over a full season this year.
Gregory ultimately locked 3.5 sacks in 10 games for the Cowboys last season, but he figures to start opposite of Lawrence this season. That position has worked out nicely for Aldon Smith and Robert Quinn over the last two seasons, there is certainly hope that Gregory can make it a hat trick’s worth of production over three years.
But what if he doesn’t? In the interest of considering all options we must literally do that. If Gregory cannot carry things on the edge opposite of DeMarcus Lawrence, who is the player that can?
Who are the points of depth at defensive end for the Cowboys?
The Cowboys saw Tyrone Crawford retire this offseason and while he was a valued leader in the locker room, that really isn’t a big deal to get over when it comes to on-the-field production. Dorance Armstrong is an option and has been hanging around for a bit at this point, and there is always last year’s late-rounder in Bradlee Anae that plenty of people want to see get some action.
Much of this offseason’s resources were spent on the defensive side of the ball, and the Cowboys came away with notable additions at both linebacker and in the secondary by way of their first two draft picks, Micah Parsons and Kelvin Joseph. Dallas even doubled down at linebacker in Jabril Cox, and added a number of safeties in free agency (including Damontae Kazee) besides adding other draft picks in Nahshon Wright and Israel Mukuamu.
Defensive end wasn’t as big of a need so it didn’t get the same treatment, but all the Cowboys did to add there in the draft was draft Chauncey Golston. 2021 doesn’t seem to be a season in which he will provide a huge impact for the Cowboys so if there is a new name making noise at the position it will likely come from one of the free agent additions: mainly Tarell Basham and Brent Urban.
Brent Urban certainly seems like someone who will provide some sort of impact on the defensive line, but it could come in the middle more than anything. Tarell Basham doesn’t really seem like he is going to make huge hay, and Carlos Watkins will likely help inside. Perhaps Randy Gregory will carry things enough that nobody really has to.
Ultimately, there is a bit of sorting to figure out here for the Cowboys which is what training camp is for. Perhaps somebody that we are already sort of writing off will prove us wrong, that would certainly be nice to see.
We discussed the state of the Dallas Cowboys defensive end group in the latest video on the Blogging The Boys YouTube Channel. Make sure to subscribe to our channel (which you can do so right here) so you don’t miss any of our videos!