Dallas Cowboys: 3 lower-cost options to replace Robert Quinn at DE

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 29: Robert Quinn #58 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 29: Robert Quinn #58 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /
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dallas cowboys
dallas cowboys /

Randy Gregory, Dorance Armstrong, Jalen Jelks, Joe Jackson

Randy Gregory is the headliner of the bunch and while he’s currently on the commissioners suspended list, he’s filed for reinstatement. Additionally, the NFL has softened their stance regarding marijuana violations and won’t be as eager to suspend over these non-performance enhancers.

Randy Gregory is the same explosive Gumby edge man Quinn is only younger. The long-armed pass-rusher is a beast around edge and a nightmare to deal with. His inside counter moves make him difficult for the NFL’s best pass-rushers.

For more on what makes Gregory special, check out Why we still care about Randy Gregory.

Dornace Armstrong underwhelmed in his sophomore season with Dallas last season. As my personal “pet cat” it’s something I was sad to see but ready to admit. But for all the reasons I was bullish on him last offseason, I’m bullish again this season.

Armstrong is a physical all-around defensive end that figures to be best on rushing downs. But there’s reason to believe he could be more than that and actually has some splash play potential.

Joe Jackson only played 71 snaps last season but he looked pretty good. He’s not as physically talented as Dorance but he’s technically savvy – a notoriously underrated trait that’ difficult to scout. We can’t rule Jackson out for anything.

Finally, we have Jelen Jelks. The late round pick from last season was always a longshot to make the roster given the depth and his pedigree. But my, how things have change. Suddenly the logjam at DE is freed up and the opportunity is there for a budding star like Jelks.

The 6-foot-5 Jelks is quick, long and tenacious. While he should by no means be relied on in 2020, he shouldn’t be forgotten. The highly productive player out Oregon had a whole year to improve his strength and if he can apply that to his previous strengths (technique and quickness), he could have a bright future in this league.

These players, along with any possible rookie additions, would form a nice rotation at both defensive ends spots. It would allow Dallas to save money here and invest elsewhere. And as long as Gregory can get back, the Cowboys may not miss a beat.

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Obviously none of these options makes you feel as warm and fuzzy as Robert Quinn does, but they all would save considerable money and allow Dallas to invest elsewhere.