Dallas Cowboys pass on top edge rushers: Big mistake?

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Randy Gregory was re-signed and then he wasn’t. We don’t know every single detail that led to the falling out between Randy Gregory and the Dallas Cowboys, but we do know the Cowboys snuck in some unforeseen protections and language at the last minute that Randy Gregory did not appreciate. His agent, who had been trying to lure him to Denver all along, saw that as a window of opportunity and, welp, the rest is history.

Whether you’re on the side of Randy Gregory or on the side of the Dallas Cowboys, it doesn’t really matter because the consequences are the same. Dallas lost their starting RDE and desperately need someone to pencil in before the NFL Draft rolls around.

The Dallas Cowboys missed their chance at signing a top-end DE, will they regret it?

The fallout from the Randy Gregory debacle has been severe and the Dallas Cowboys haven’t been trying very hard to right that wrong. While reports repeatedly link the Dallas Cowboys to free agent pass rushers, that seems to be nothing more than a narrative spun by agents to boost value.

Depending on what reports you believe, the Dallas Cowboys have had little to no meaningful contact with any of the big name pass rushers that have been signing deals this week. Von Miller, Chandler Jones, Haason Reddick, and Za’Darius Smith all went off the market without Dallas putting up much of a fight.

Long-time Cowboys fans know this drill all too well. Under the direction of Stephen Jones, the Dallas Cowboys notoriously bargain hunt in the waning days of free agency. They like to target players who have slipped through the cracks. They prefer short term deals without much risk over those long-term deals that inherently carry more risk (and more reward).

Is it smart?

No, but it’s what they do every year and it’s what they seem to be doing again this year.

They are now sitting flush with cash (top-10 under the cap) with few DE options remaining. But maybe we’re looking at this all wrong. Maybe they don’t feel compelled to in invest the Randy Gregory money into Randy Gregory’s old position (we’ll dive into this tomorrow).

Maybe now is the time to look at Bobby Wagner like Dink Kearney has been pushing for. Or maybe they should use the money on a DT like Ndamukong Suh. Or maybe they should push that money into the offense and fill the many holes over there. Lots of options exist and since LB Micah Parsons is also the best edge rusher in the NFL, the team can pivot strategies and actually improve at EDGE in the long run.

Let it be clear – the window is open for the Dallas Cowboys and they should not have let all of these elite DE options slip away if they want to maximize their chances at a Super Bowl. But spending money for the sake of spending money is also a bad idea and as long as Dallas invests their funds somewhere worthwhile, this could work out just somewhat tolerably.

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It was a big mistake to let Randy Gregory slip away. And it will be bigger if they fail to keep Dorance Armstrong as well. But not signing Von, Jones, and Smith might not such a big mistake. It all depends on what the Dallas Cowboys eventually spend their money on…

  • Published on 03/17/2022 at 16:01 PM
  • Last updated at 03/17/2022 at 15:00 PM