The Dallas Cowboys likely won't have DeMarcus Lawrence for the first four games next season, as he's facing a four-game suspension. That leaves the Cowboys dangerously thin at DE, especially with Randy Gregory also suspended for the first four games. With the Cowboys thin at DE, they'll need to add at least a player or two during the offseason, either in the draft or free agency.
The pickings are slim at DE in free agency, and the Cowboys were unable to land Chris Long. There aren't many options left, which is why the Cowboys will likely look to the draft to address the massive need that is DE. The Cowboys are down to Benson Mayowa and 2015 fifth round pick Ryan Russell as players on the roster who have played an NFL snap. Both are raw and have limited experience, so the Cowboys simply have to go add a new starter before the season starts. With that in mind, here are 5 DEs The Cowboys Could Acquire To Help Replace Demarcus Lawrence:
5. Charles Tapper, Oklahoma
Tapper could be a Round 3 pick, and should be on the board for the Cowboys during that round. Tapper wasn't the most consistent player at Oklahoma, but he has the type of speed off the edge (4.59 40 at the Combine) and arm length that the Cowboys want in their DEs. Tapper needs work and hasn't reached his potential, but Rod Marinelli would get the most out of him. If the Cowboys double-down at DE or even just wait until round 3 to add a DE, a player like Tapper could make sense.
4. Jason Jones, FA
Jones is one of the few DEs left on the free agent market and he'd be a quality addition for the Cowboys. He played well last year for the Lions, although he will turn 30 before the season. He's not the greatest pass rusher, but the Cowboys have no experience right now at DE, and that's something Jones can provide. For more Cowboys coverage, download the Chat Sports App.
3. Jonathan Bullard, Florida
Players like Kevin Dodd, Emmanuel Ogbah and maybe even Noah Spence could be on the board for the Cowboys in Round 2, but Bullard is the most likely. A versatile player, Bullard could even shift inside on passing downs once Gregory and Lawrence return. He could be a first round pick, but Bullard would make for a quality second rounder. Even if he's off the board, there will be quality players in the second round for the Cowboys to take.
2. Greg Hardy, FA
The Cowboys were vocal that they weren't going to bring back Hardy, but the suspensions to Lawrence and Gregory might force that to change. No one has signed Hardy and he's still a toxic asset. He's not a great teammate, as he showed last year, but he's the best defensive player still on the market. If Hardy is willing to take a cheap deal, the Cowboys will at least consider bringing him back for next year.
1. Joey Bosa, Ohio State
The immediate response following the suspension of Lawrence was "This means Bosa is the pick, right?" Not necessarily. If Jalen Ramsey is on the board, the Cowboys could take him and wait until Round 2 to take a pass rusher. But if Ramsey is gone, the Cowboys will likely take Bosa. Bosa won't be a monster sack machine, but he's the best DE in this year's class and will be able to start on Day 1. That's exactly what Dallas needs right now and Bosa will provide some stability at the position.Back to the Dallas Cowboys Newsfeed