With Shallow Pass-Rushing Depth, Cowboys Would Be Wise To Keep Dwight Freeney’s Number Handy

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Need a reminder as to why I was disillusioned by the Cowboys drafting a running back with the 4th overall pick in the NFL Draft?

In their season opener Sept. 11 against the Giants, their starting defensive line could look thusly: Tyrone Crawford and Cedric Thornton at tackles, and Benson Mayowa and David Irving at ends. During OTAs at Valley Ranch last week Ryan Russell was the starting left defensive end.

That sound you hear is Eli Manning is licking his chops.

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I know its cost-effective to play young guys but with both Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence facing four-game suspensions to start the season, the Cowboys are headed into a gun battle with an untested slingshot.

The nine defensive ends on their roster have a combined 10.5 sacks in the NFL, and eight of those belong to Lawrence.

Yes, yikes.

It could be merely a temporary problem if Lawrence and Gregory return after a month. And I realize the Cowboys are counting on Ezekiel Elliott and a healthy Tony Romo to be a good offense that helps their defense. But just in case, the Cowboys are keeping 36-year-old Dwight Freeney on their emergency short list. As one of the game’s best speed rusher, he had more than 10.5 sacks six times.

It might not be time to call in reinforcements. Yet.

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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