Unpeeling the layers of the (potentially elite) Dallas Cowboys pass rush

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 12: DeMarcus Lawrence #90 of the Dallas Cowboys . (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 12: DeMarcus Lawrence #90 of the Dallas Cowboys . (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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ARLINGTON, TEXAS – JANUARY 05: Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks is sacked by Maliek Collins #96 of the Dallas Cowboys in the first half during the Wild Card Round at AT&T Stadium on January 05, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Dark Horse Pass-Rushers

Maliek Collins

Maliek Collins is the player far too many people are sleeping on. Once upon a time he was the top pass-rushing interior player in his rookie class. But repeated injuries stunted his development and slowed any momentum he was able to build.

Now Collins is playing on the last year of his deal, and with his replacement already on the Dallas Cowboys roster (2nd round pick Trysten Hill), Collins is auditioning for the rest of the NFL. While we have yet to see Hill play in the NFL, very rarely do rookie DTs make much of an impact in their first year. Because of that, we expect Collins to log the majority of the Dallas Cowboys’ snaps at under tackle this season.

Motivation + Opportunity + Ability = Career Season

Related Story. The 1-gap defense vs 2-gap defense. light

Dorance Armstrong

Dorance Armstrong quietly logged a solid rookie season last year for the Dallas Cowboys. Playing 273 snaps last season, the 22-year-old defensive end out of Kansas gained valuable experience priming him for breakout in 2019.

Given the depth on the Dallas Cowboys D-Line, Armstrong is far from a lock to breakout. In fact, Sport DFW writer Adithya Prabakaran has him on the outside looking in as he may not even make the final roster. But being a personal pet cat of mine, I have Armstrong ranked above the pedigreed Taco and indications from minicamp say his new arsenal of pass-rush moves make him a legit breakout candidate – even if he gets limited snaps in a rotation.

We can’t forget the depth and especially not the x-factor in this whole thing…