The Dallas Cowboys have needs at guard, tackle, wide receiver, and tight end, but they also need to get pass rusher depth before the 2022 NFL Draft is over. Part of the reason that Dallas needs edge rusher help is because of the way that things played out with Randy Gregory. Obviously Dallas was interested in bringing Gregory back, things didn’t work out, and now the situation is what it is.
The Cowboys brass hasn’t experienced the same run of public discussion as some fans though, so when Stephen Jones appeared on 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday he discussed the team’s plans for the draft, but also mentioned a bit about Gregory.
Stephen Jones said Dorance Armstrong is ‘right there’ from a production standpoint with Randy Gregory
Many times in NFL history teams have benefitted more from the moves that they didn’t make as opposed to the ones that they did. Do you think the Denver Broncos are upset that the Houston Texans outbid them for Brock Osweiler six years ago? Speaking of Denver, they have ‘saved’ the Cowboys a few times recently by ‘winning’ Paxton Lynch over the Cowboys a few months later and just last year took Patrick Surtain which set up Micah Parsons falling to Dallas. It is better to be lucky than good as it is often said.
Sticking with this logic, it is very possible that the Cowboys wind up ‘winning’ the Randy Gregory contract situation and they won’t regret the way things worked out. Maybe they will. That’s the way that life goes.
To make up for the Gregory loss the Cowboys firmed up the return of defensive end Dorance Armstrong this offseason. Many have noted in arguments among fans that Armstrong had five sacks in 2021 to Gregory’s six, but everybody knows that this is a hollow argument based off of season statistics and isn’t at all representative of who the two are as players.
Well, everybody except Stephen Jones.
Stephen Jones continued: "The same thing with Dorance Armstrong. We hated to lose Randy. We went down to the wire with him. But at the same time, you look at production. You look at what Dorance Armstrong has done. He's right there from a production standpoint with Randy."— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) April 19, 2022
This is, to be frank, absurd. In absolutely no way are Gregory and Armstrong ‘right there’ with one another, all due respect to the latter.
How can we confidently proclaim that this is true? I don’t know, maybe because the Cowboys themselves were an eleventh-hour moment away from giving Gregory a contract worth $14M per year? If Dorance Armstrong were really this player who was so close to Gregory in terms of production, then why did the Cowboys even go down the path towards bringing Gregory back at all? They are contradicting themselves in the name of glossing up their offseason moves.
Three Cowboys defenders finished the season in the Top 10 in per-game playmaking EPA.— Cowboys Stats & Graphics (@CowboysStats) March 7, 2022
This is based on the impact of all the plays a defender was involved in via tackle, QB hit, pass defensed, turnover, etc., that resulted in a setback for the opposing offense. pic.twitter.com/OyVgLrKRgK
It was rather ugly the way that things played out between the Cowboys and Gregory. Obviously the team wants to present the idea and image that they are, and have been, in control of this offseason, so nobody is going to fault them for trying to say things along those lines.
But the calculation of this statement makes no sense given the overall sequence involved here, let alone the quality of players that Gregory and Armstrong are. All Stephen’s statement on Tuesday served to do was highlight how the team is trying to spin things.