The fortunes of the Dallas Cowboys seem to be getting worse every day. To seven absences in three weeks as a result of COVID-19 infections and a suspension, they must now add the injury to DeMarcus Lawrence.
The 29-year-old defensive end will be out six to eight weeks with a broken right foot and his absence comes in a position where the Cowboys are increasingly getting fewer players and where talent is in short supply.
It is unlikely that the other starting defensive end of the Cowboys, Randy Gregory, one of the elements infected with COVID-19, will be ready for the game against the Los Angeles Chargers next Sunday.
The Cowboys have few experienced elements among their backup defensive ends, a group that includes Dorance Armstrong, a player who has been promising since arriving in the 2018 draft but has fallen short of expectations. The main point of optimism is that he had his best preseason as a professional in 2021, including the game against the Arizona Cardinals, in which he had two sacks among his five unassisted tackles.
Armstrong has been part of the active team in 47 of the 49 probable games since joining the NFL, though he has only had 2.5 quarterback sacks. Lawrence has 45.5 sacks in his eight years with the Cowboys, 31.5 in the past four seasons.
On the other side of Armstrong, it is very likely that Tarrel Basham, a medium-profile free agent who spent the last two seasons with the New York Jets, will play after being chosen by the Indianapolis Colts in the third round of the 2017 draft. on the current roster are Bradley Annae and Chauncey Golston, drafted in the last two drafts but no regular season experience.
The Cowboys must be concerned, and seriously, and it would not be crazy to think that they are reviewing the foreign market in the face of the almost chronic impossibility of pressuring opposing quarterbacks or performing the most elementary maneuvers against the run, even when they were on the field. together Lawrence and Gregory.
Just remember the way they allowed total and rushing yards last season and in the first game of this season, when Tom Brady was never seriously pressured in a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
This Cowboys defense is in trouble. With their two main wings they were one of only two teams without sacks in Week 1 of the regular schedule.
It is to be expected that rookie Micah Parsons will also have activity as an outside linebacker, almost a defensive end, as he did in preseason training. The problem is that it will leave a hole on the inside, which has been impossible to fill by Jaylon Smith and, when healthy, Leighton Vander Esch.
Parsons can push on both sides of the line and is able to move side to side with speed, something that is in short supply in Dallas’ defense, but just as it happens on the offensive side when they evaluate the replacement possibilities of the suspended La’El Collins as right tackle, the Cowboys will have to think about digging a hole to plug another in their defensive line.