Turns out, there’s room for three big-name defensive ends at Dallas Cowboys headquarters.
On Thursday, the Cowboys sent a conditional 2021 seventh-round pick to the New England Patriots in exchange for Michael Bennett, stabilizing Dallas’ depth with the three-time Pro Bowler.
Assuming the deal is completed — Bennett must pass a physical — he will slide in behind $105 million man DeMarcus Lawrence and current team sack leader Robert Quinn. The former couldn’t be happier.
“Oh man, I think it was an excellent move,” Lawrence said Friday on Good Morning Football. “Just to have that type of energy and that type of player come to the team is tremendous. Ready for him.”
Bennett, 33, appeared in six games for the Patriots this season, registering five tackles and 2.5 sacks. In 2018, he started 10 games for the Philadelphia Eagles, collecting 34 tackles and nine sacks. For his career, Bennett — a Super Bowl champion with the Seattle Seahawks — has 332 combined tackles, 65.5 quarterback takedowns, 10 forced fumbles and five pass deflections.
Bennett won’t replace Lawrence or Quinn, but he’s a monster pass-rushing upgrade on DE Tyrone Crawford, who was lost for the season due to a hip injury. As the depth chart is concerned, he should leapfrog rookie defensive lineman Trysten Hill; the Cowboys reportedly were drawn to Bennett’s position flexibility, his ability to play end and tackle.
Familiar with defensive coordinator Kris Richard from their time in Seattle, Bennett will make his Dallas debut on Monday, Nov. 4 when the team returns from its bye to battle the New York Giants.
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Tank Ignites Beef with Opposing Quarterbacks
Never one to hold his tongue, Lawrence’s GMFB interview ventured beyond Bennett’s arrival. He was also asked about his relationship with enemy signal-callers, such as Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, whom Lawrence faced in Week 5.
The question: Does he speak to, or have a relationship with, Rodgers and his NFL counterparts. The answer: Very Lawrence-like.
“No. Definitely not. I’m just trying to focus on how I’m going to rip his face off,” he said, via RJ Ochoa of Blogging the Boys.
Lawrence was unsuccessful in his mission against Rodgers, failing to the sack the future Hall of Famer amid Dallas’ 34-24 loss. Through seven games, he has 13 tackles, 3.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.
Cowboys Advised to Trade OL Before NFL Deadline
Bleacher Report believes the Cowboys should be sellers — not buyers — at the NFL trade deadline. Compiling a list of players every team must shop prior to Tuesday, BR columnist Kristopher Knox argues that Dallas can safely part ways with reserve offensive lineman Joe Looney, interest in whom likely is limited to playoff contenders.
The Browns aren’t in the market for an interior offensive lineman, but other teams could be. The Patriots, for example, lost starting center David Andrews before the season. This is precisely why the Dallas Cowboys should check out the market for backup center Joe Looney.
Looney started all 16 games in place of Travis Frederick in 2018 after Frederick was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome. Frederick is now healthy, though, and has started all seven games for Dallas.
While it’s great to have offensive line depth, Looney has proved himself a capable starter and therefore has trade value. He’s also in the final year of his contract, meaning Dallas may not have him on the depth chart beyond this season.
A 2012 fourth-round pick of the 49ers, Looney is in his fourth year with the Cowboys. He’s appeared in 55 games over that span, mostly as a backup. But Looney was a 16-game starter last season, the replacement for Travis Frederick, as mentioned. Considering Dallas is known as the NFL O-line factory, another club could jump at the opportunity to siphon some of their talent.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL