Demarcus Lawrence is the talk of the Dallas Cowboys and the NFL after his fast start to the 2017 season. Lawrence leads the NFL with 6.5 sacks thru three weeks. He is coming off his best performance of the season, as he recorded three sacks in Monday’s victory over the Arizona Cardinals. The Cowboys generated six sacks in their game against Arizona, but are in position to get even stronger along the defensive line.
The team welcomed Damontre’ Moore to the team on Monday, and he helped chip in with some key plays in the run game. Moore played ahead of Charles Tapper, who was inactive in the contest. Both players can bring pass rush prowess to the field. However, the Cowboys are about to receive a big boost in the form of mammoth defensive lineman David Irving.
Cowboys fans are already aware of the type of impact David Irving can have on defense. Irving single-handedly took over a couple of games last season, notably against the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was the Cowboys’ best edge rusher a season ago, and he is nearing his return from a suspension.
Irving was suspended four games for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, and is entering the last week of his suspension. After he returns, the team that constantly faced questions along its defensive line could run out of spots to play guys.
Entering week 4, the Cowboys have played Lawrence, Moore, Tapper, Benson Mayowa and first-round draft pick Taco Charlton at defensive end. They have also played Tyrone Crawford along the defensive front, and have received good defensive tackle play from Maliek Collins, Stephen Paea and Brian Price. Collins and Crawford had very good nights against Arizona. Maliek Collins had 2 sacks in the performance, and very well could’ve been the Cowboys player of the game aside from an outstanding performance by Lawrence. Tyrone Crawford also provided several plays where he pressured Carson Palmer into getting rid of the ball quicker than wanted.
Assuming Irving is active when first re-instated, the team will have an interesting decision to make. The rotation at defensive line would then consist of:
Dallas Cowboys Rushmen Conundrum:
The Cowboys typically play with eight defensive linemen on the gameday 46-man roster. As a result, they would need to trim this list by 2 players. Brian Price looks like a logical choice, as Irving can play both inside and outside on the defensive line. The second choice could come down to the same decision the Cowboys had on Monday, between Damontre’ Moore and Charles Tapper. Both players bring their own style of play to the field, and the team would have a hard decision on their hands.
Beginning the season facing questions along the defensive line, the Dallas Cowboys are primed to have a new strength of the team emerge. Coming off a highlight reel worthy performance, the Cowboys could have the type of pass rush not seen in several years. A crowded defensive line is set to become even more packed with talent, and decisions, with the return of David Irving from suspension. Going forward, the Dallas Cowboys will have a bevy of options to choose from.
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