DE Demarcus Lawrence will miss the better part of the season (most likely six to eight weeks) for the Dallas Cowboys and has been listed as “out indefinitely” by some sources as well. Ian Rapoport reports on Twitter that the pass rusher has broken the fifth–metatarsal in his foot (pinky toe) that would require surgery. Lawrence is arguably the best defensive player that the Cowboys have, and this will certainly be a major hit to a defense that is already struggling. As if this loss wasn’t bad enough, there is a chance that they will play without DE Randy Gregory as well, as he has tested positive for COVID-19 and would need to return two negative tests separated by 24 hours.
On the upside, they have been playing better as of late, but it is still nowhere near the level that they need to be if they want to compete in the playoffs. In the short–term, the defense could potentially be impacted heavily by the losses of Lawrence and Gregory. These are just part of the tough blows for the Dallas Cowboys as we head into Week 2 of the NFL season. As reported earlier, Dallas will also be without the services of WR Michael Gallup and RT La’el Collins for three-to-five weeks and five weeks, respectively. At least they did get right guard (RG) Zack Martin back from the Reserve/COVID-19 list, who will get to make his season debut against the L.A. Chargers after he was unable to partake in the season-opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
For now, their defensive end depth will consist of their 2020 fifth-round pick Bradlee Anae, their 2018 fourth-round pick Dorance Armstrong, former Colts 2017 third-round pick Tarell Basham, their 2021 third-round pick Chauncey Golston, their 2020 UDFA Azur Kamara, and former Ravens 2014 fourth-round pick DT/DE Brent Urban. Additionally, they also roster former 2018 Chiefs second-round pick Breeland Speaks on their practice squad. While they certainly have the depth, I think that they would be wise in adding more experience to this position room instead of adding more depth in either their active roster or practice squad. Some free-agent DEs to look at now would include Trent Murphy, Ifeadi Odenigbo, and Ezekiel Ansah, among others.
Lastly, we do have to talk about their defensive tackle depth as well. They might have to step up in the absence of the aforementioned vets, including their own Neville Gallimore (out for six to eight weeks but is eligible to return as early as Week 4) and Trysten Hill (out for at least six weeks and placed on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list (PUP)). That position room consists of their 2021 sixth-round pick Quinton Bohanna, their 2021 third-round pick Osa Odighizuwa, former Texans 2017 fourth-round pick Carlos Watkins, and the aforementioned Urban. They are followed by their 2021 UDFA Austin Faoliu and former Bills 2015 UDFA Justin Hamilton on the practice squad.
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Edited By: Rupayan “Abs” Samanta.