Having already lost one of their pass rushers – Randy Gregory – to a four-game suspension, the Cowboys are bracing for another one of their edge defenders to miss the season’s first month. According to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, defensive end Demarcus Lawrence faces a four-game ban for violating the NFL’s policy on substances of abuse.
Moore reports that the Cowboys have yet to be formally notified of Lawrence’s impending suspension, which suggests that the defender and his representatives are still in the process of appealing the ruling. Multiple sources tell Moore that Dallas will be without Lawrence to open the season, however.
A second-round pick in 2014, Lawrence led the Cowboys in sacks last season with eight, and added a forced fumble to go along with 55 tackles. With both Lawrence and Gregory sidelined to open the 2016 season, pass rush becomes an even greater need for the Cowboys, who could end up landing a player like Joey Bosa next week, depending on how the draft plays out.
While the Cowboys did sign Benson Mayowa away from the Raiders in free agency, the team also no longer has veteran contributors Greg Hardy and Jeremy Mincey under contract, so the defensive end rotation in Dallas will look significantly different than it did last year, particularly for the first four weeks of the season.
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