Dallas Cowboys: It’s Do or Die for These 5 Players in 2020

Jon'Vea Johnson #7 of the Toledo Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Jon'Vea Johnson #7 of the Toledo Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /
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Defensive end Dorance Armstrong #92 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

Do or Die Dallas Cowboys

Dorance Armstrong Jr., DE

Age:  22

Dorance Armstrong Jr. may be a two-year vet but he’s just 22-years old (ok, he turns 23 this week, but still – the dude is young). Working behind DeMarcus Lawrence at left defensive end, the opportunities aren’t exactly plentiful for Armstrong…but they are there.

Despite playing a few less snaps last season (262 total), Armstrong offered more production than his rookie year, increasing his sack total from 0.5 in 2018 to 2.0 in 2019. While two sacks is nothing to brag about, it shows development and improvement and sets Armstrong up for a leap in 2020.

With good size (6-foot-4, 255lbs), active hands, and mature technique, Armstrong should be able to make the jump as a 23-year-old. And he needs to because the competition will be thick at defensive end. Chances are Aldon Smith, Tyrone Crawford, Tank, and Randy Gregory are all going to make the team as DEs. That means there’s one, maybe two, spots available for the rest of the herd.

If Armstrong can lock down a role as Tanks’s primary back-up again, he’ll be in position to take an enormous role in 2021 when Crawford, Smith, and Gregory are possibly gone. In other words, the fringe man today could be the starter tomorrow. That’s why depth at DE this season is so important. Dallas simply can’t afford to lose everyone next season.