Another day for the Cowboys, and yet another blow to their hopes of a playoff run. Since their two-point loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week one, the Cowboys have lost their starting right tackle in La’el Collins (five-game suspension), starting wide receiver in Michael Gallup (4-6 weeks calf-strain), and now starting defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (6-8 weeks foot injury). This is all in addition too Randy Gregory going on the COVID list and likely missing week two.
For the La’el Collins suspension, the Cowboys will likely turn to Terence Steele to fill-in, a player with starting experience and showed some signs of improvement at the end of last season. For Michael Gallup, Cedrick Wilson and Noah Brown will likely split-time picking up the slack. Two quality players, that should fill in nicely. For DeMarcus Lawrence, well for DeMarcus Lawrence we got nothing.
For week two, it looks like the starting defensive ends will be Dorance Armstrong and Tarell Basham. The two have combined for 10 sacks in 106 career games. There’s not much the Cowboys can do for their week two matchup against the Chargers, but sitting on their hands and expecting Gregory, Basham, Armstrong, Anae, and Golston to carry the load while Lawrence works to get back on the field is 100% not the answer.
There is a decent answer out there though, and it’s one the Cowboys should definitely pursue.
If the Cowboys don’t want to look at the veteran free agent pool that consist of Olivier Vernon, Trent Murphy, Vic Beasley, and Bruce Irvin, they should give the Las Vegas Raiders a call and see what it’ll take to acquire third-year EDGE Clelin Ferrell.
Ferrell, a 24-year-old EDGE out of Clemson, has had a slow start to his career with the Raiders after being drafted with the fourth-overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. In his first two seasons, Ferrell has 6.5 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, and 18 QB hits. While the start to his career has been rather disappointing, he’s still shown glimpses of being the player he was billed to be coming out of Clemson a few years ago. He has the size the Cowboys like in their edge rushers at 6’4”, 265lbs and pairs his good size with long arms (34 1/8”) and a physical style of play.
Las Vegas had Ferrell as a healthy scratch in their week one matchup against the Ravens, choosing to give Maxx Crosby, Yannick Ngakoue, Carl Nassib, and Solomon Thomas as the teams active defensive ends. Ngakoue did suffer an injury against the Ravens that the team originally thought was serious, but after practicing on a limited basis to start the week the Raiders may have dodged a bullet their. If Ngakoue is okay from a health perspective, and Ferrell isn’t apart of the Raiders long-term plan, the Cowboys would be wise to offer the Raiders a reasonable offer for the talented, young defensive end, who may be in need of a fresh start with a new team.
Even without Lawrence’s injury, the EDGE depth for the Cowboys was always very concerning, and now with their top two defensive ends likely out for week two, and the better of the two out for likely half the season upgrading the depth (and now starting rotation) should be a no-brainer for Stephen Jones and Will McClay.
We discussed the DeMarcus Lawrence injury, what it means for the team, options to replace him and more with a BTB Roundtable on the Blogging The Boys YouTube Channel. Make sure to subscribe to our channel (which you can do right here) so you don’t miss any of our videos!