Dallas Cowboys: How Randy Gregory’s suspension impacts Dallas’ plans

Randy Gregory #94 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Randy Gregory #94 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

A look at what kind of impact Randy Gregory’s suspension will have on the Dallas Cowboys and their plans in free agency and the draft…

Here we go again. Right when it seemed like Randy Gregory was on track and ready to take the next step in his professional career, he suffers a relapse and now faces banishment from the NFL. While this news unquestionably hurts the Dallas Cowboys, it’s not entirely surprising.

Randy Gregory’s history of self medicating (it’s not recreational) is well documented. It’s a situation that’s managed rather than cured. Randy knows this. And luckily for us fans, the Dallas Cowboys know this as well.

That’s why this sad development probably won’t have a major impact on the Cowboys offseason plans. Sure they lost their starting right defensive end, but they have been building up depth at defensive end for the past two years – largely because they didn’t know if and/or how much Randy Gregory would ever contribute.

The Dallas Cowboys are prepared for this

Two seasons ago the Dallas Cowboys drafted Taco Charlton in the first round. While he hasn’t developed like any of us hoped, he’s still just 24-years-old and under contract for two more seasons.

He was noticeably upset last season when he lost snaps to Gregory and responded to the situation in about the worst way possible (giving up). Perhaps he’ll see this a window of opportunity for him. Perhaps he’ll finally live up to his potential.

But then again, perhaps not. That’s why the Cowboys drafted Dorance Armstrong last year. Armstrong may have had a quiet rookie year, but the experience was priceless for the abnormally young defensive lineman (drafted at age 20).

Armstrong was someone the Dallas Cowboys were targeting heading into the draft and were shocked he fell to the fourth round. He’s basically a DeMarcus Lawrence starter kit and has all the skills needed to be a starting defensive end in this league.

And if that doesn’t work Dallas has trusty old Tyrone Crawford to lean on. Crawford has been the second-best defensive linemen for the past 3-5 years anyway, might as well continue that trend for another season.

Need forced Crawford into the defensive tackle rotation last season. But he’s built for end and plays better on the end so that’s where the Dallas Cowboys plan to use him in 2019. You may say that such a move leaves a hole at defensive tackle. And you’d be right.

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Impact on the free agency and the draft

I’ve projected defensive tackle as the top need on the defense line since the season ended and even with the loss of Randy Gregory, tackle remains the top need on the line. Part of that has to do with the depth listed above, and part has to do with the depth (or lack thereof) inside.

David Irving is all but gone and Maliek Collins is playing on the final year of his rookie deal. With Crawford moving to focus on end again, that leaves the 3-technique DT spot disturbingly shallow. Considering it’s arguably the most important position on Rod Marinelli’s line, the position needs to be addressed.

Randy Gregory’s suspension just intensifies that need at the under tackle. A case can be made to add depth at end now, but it’s nowhere near the need currently at DT.

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So how does Randy Gregory’s suspension affect the Dallas Cowboys offseason plans? Well, not much at all. They are already fairly deep at end and extremely curious to know what they have in their young guys. While this suspension is bad news, the Dallas Cowboys were prepared for it.

  • Published on 02/27/2019 at 13:01 PM
  • Last updated at 02/27/2019 at 12:49 PM