Report: Washington in Agreement With Cowboys Defensive End

Washington Commanders, Dallas Cowboys, Dorance Armstrong

Getty Dorance Armstrong flexes after a sack against the Commanders.

Armed with over $90 million in cap space, the Commanders wasted no time by agreeing to terms with Cowboys defensive end Dorance Armstrong. Sources tell Bleacher Report that the free-agent defensive end will continue the mass exodus in Dallas and follow head coach Dan Quinn to Washington.

Armstrong and the Commanders have a tentative agreement in place on a three-year, $45 million deal. While terms of their agreement have not yet been disclosed, the $15 million average annual salary currently ranks him as the 12th highest-paid defensive end.

As a reminder, free agents cannot officially sign their new contracts until the new league year begins on Wednesday, March 13 at 4 pm EST. Players can change their minds and may entertain other offers.

The NFL permits teams and agents to negotiate during the legal tampering window which began today, March 11 at noon EST.

If the agreement holds up, Armstrong becomes the first move in what will undoubtedly be a remake of the pass rush group in D.C. Rumors had swirled that Armstrong was a potential target for the Commanders and a reunion in Washington made sense for both parties.

Washington traded defensive ends and former first-round picks Chase Young (49ers) and Montez Sweat (Chicago) before last year’s trade deadline. Coach Quinn now has the task of transforming a defense that ranked 26th in the league generating 39 sacks in 2023.

Who is Dorance Armstrong?

Dorance Armstrong Jr. was drafted in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. He only recorded 2.5 sacks in his first three seasons in Dallas. That changed once the Cowboys hired Dan Quinn to be their coordinator after the 2020 season.

Armstrong amassed 16 sacks in his final two seasons in Dallas. He has 23.5 career sacks in six seasons and is still just 26 years old.

While the Cowboys are trying to maneuver moves with very little cap space, Washington capitalizes by weakening a division foe while also filling a big need on defense.

Pressures are a combination of sacks, hits, and hurries. Armstong has recorded 138 in his career, 34 just last season. That would have ranked first in Washington minus Young and Sweat who ended up on different teams.

Armstrong has been surprisingly durable, playing in all 17 games the past two seasons and 93 throughout his career. His 570 snaps on defense would rank second, only to Commanders edge Casey Toohill under that same metric.

Is the Commanders Defensive End Group Complete?

While Armstrong is a great signing for Washington, the Commanders still have a need for the position. The Cowboys had ends Micah Parsons and Demarcus Lawrence ahead of him on the depth chart.

Quinn has historically rotated his defensive ends to keep them as fresh as possible and the addition of Armstong could be the direction they are going.

Look for the Commanders to continue to add to the position group whether in free agency or through the draft. With six draft picks in the top 100 selections, a trade could be another option for a team ready to compete.

Armstong now gets to help his new teammates learn the nuances of a Dan Quinn defense.



Read More