Dallas Cowboys: Playing the Odds with Defensive Ends

The lack of a pass rush is more evidence that Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager, Jerry Jones, has been an epic failure.

This is not my favorite time of the year. For many members of Dallas Cowboys Nation, this is known as “the offseason”. It needs a different name – Hypothetical Blitz or Solution Season. Every discussion will involve some insanely random, salary cap busting trade. I also wish I got a five dollar bill every time someone mention that the Cowboys need a pass rusher.

The NFL is a 32 team, quarterback driven league. In addition to most teams seeking an experienced veteran pro bowl quarterback to win them a championship, guess how many are seeking a top pass rusher? The short answer: All of them.

The lack of a pass rush is more evidence that Dallas owner and general manager, Jerry Jones, has been an epic failure. He foolishly believed the Cowboys would be the first team since 1967 to win a Superbowl with a rookie quarterback. He’s also contributed to the problem with horrific personnel decisions at the defensive end position.

To be fair, Jones has thrown plenty of things at the wall, but none of it has stuck. In other words, his failures haven’t been due to a lack of effort. Let’s do a brief recap of our most recent pass rushing projects.

Year Name Drafted
2016 Charles Tapper 4th rnd
2015 Randy Gregory 2nd rnd
2015 Ryan Russell 5th rnd
2014 Demarcus Lawrence 2nd rnd

Ben Gardner

7th rnd

2012 Tyrone Crawford

3rd rnd

In addition to these draft picks, our pass rushers have also included: Greg Hardy, Jack Crawford, Benson Mayowa, David Irving, Jeremy Mincey and George Selvie. Regardless of the reason, none of these edge rushers have been able to make a consistent impact. You shouldn’t expect the next rookie defensive end to have great success either.

It’s just the odds. In 2016, San Diego Chargers rookie defensive end Joey Bosa recorded 10.5 sacks. In 2010, Cincinnati Bengals rookie defensive end Carlos Dunlap recorded 9.5 sacks. The last time a rookie defensive end had more than 10 sacks was in 2006. That honor goes to Chicago Bears rookie defensive end Mark Anderson with 12 sacks.

There was a 10-year gap between pass rushers recording double digit sacks. That’s not to say that they won’t develop into greatness. Like quarterbacks that get 156 games under their belt and eventually throw for 34,183 yards and 248 touchdowns – pass rushers also get better with experience.

We have to see if Jones will break the bank for an edge rusher in free agency. If the Cowboys continue to build through the draft – first, get in line and don’t expect an immediate return on that investment.



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