After suffering a hand injury, Dallas Cowboys defensive end Robert Quinn will be sidelined until the regular season. Who will benefit from his absence?
This offseason, the Dallas Cowboys traded a sixth-round selection in 2020 to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for veteran defensive end Robert Quinn. The eight-year pass rusher agreed to a one-year, $8 million deal with additional incentives to join the Cowboys. The 29-year old was expected to start at right defensive end opposite two-time Pro Bowler DeMarcus Lawrence this upcoming season.
But on Tuesday it was revealed that Quinn had suffered a fracture in his left hand, a dislocated finger compounded according to Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones. Also the team’s director of player personnel, Jones is confident Quinn will be able to return in time to play the New York Giants Week One of the regular season.
But the injury only serves to place a brighter spotlight on the position as several of the starters from last year are also sidelined. Lawrence is recovering from shoulder surgery and is currently on the Physically Unable to Perform list (PUP). He is also expected to return for Week One of the regular season.
Defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford started 15 games last season and is on the PUP as well due to a hip injury. The 29-year old could also be facing a suspension stemming from his involvement in a bar fight that took place earlier this year.
Finally, defensive end Randy Gregory, who posted 6.0 sacks in 2018, the second-highest sack total on the team, received his second indefinite ban from the NFL for continued violations of the league’s substance-abuse policy. The former second-rounder had a rumored desire to apply for reinstatement last month in an effort to attend Cowboys’ training camp but has yet to file according to Pro Football Talk.
With so many defensive ends sidelined, this gives other players more opportunities to shine. Filling out the depth chart includes former first-rounder Taco Charlton, 2018 fourth-rounder Dorance Armstrong, free agent signings Kerry Hyder Jr. and Shakir Soto, plus rookies Jalen Jelks, Joe Jackson, and Ricky Walker.
Undoubtedly, the brightest spotlight is on Charlton. After posting a promising rookie season, where he recorded 3.0 sacks, Taco struggled with a shoulder injury last year. Charlton missed five games in 2018 and recorded only a single sack in seven starts.
Want your voice heard? Join the The Landry Hat team!
The Dallas Cowboys opted to trade for Robert Quinn this offseason despite having spent a first-round selection on Taco Charlton just two years ago. That speaks volumes about Charlton’s play and future in Dallas. With so many veteran defensive ends currently sidelined, this might just be Taco’s best (and possibly final) opportunity to show he can live up to his lofty draft status. It’s a good sign that Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli was impressed with Charlton’s play through the first week of training camp.