KENNETH C. THOMAS
FORT WASHINGTON, MD
I have always been a fan of DeMarcus Lawrence and this season he is finally becoming the player myself and the Cowboys envisioned when they traded up 13 spots to take him. It seems like ever since Irving has been *out, he has not been able to get the penetration that he was getting during the first half of the season and has not had a sack. How much of an impact do you believe that Irving's absence has had on his ability to get to the passer?*
Bryan: I always smile when I hear fans say, "I've always been a fan of this player." Lawrence does miss Irving and his ability to penetrate, which forces quarterbacks to have to move in the pocket to find a throwing lane. I will say this too, there have been some snaps where Lawrence has been in position but hasn't finished like he had at times during the year. He has been in some pretty good positions, especially these previous two games, and hasn't been able to seal the deal.
David:If you go fire up the replay of the games without Irving, I think you'll be impressed by how disruptive Lawrence has been. No, he hasn't gotten a sack and that's ultimately what people look for. But I thought he terrorized the Giants, and he continually flushed Derek Carr out of the pocket. There's no doubt he misses Irving, because that extra pressure often chases quarterbacks right into him. But I still think he's been effective.
OK, I'll be the one to ask, and it's only your expert opinion at this point as there are still 9 months to go. Week 1 of 2018, will Randy Gregory be on the roster/field?
Bryan:Just a guess but I'd say no. There are still just too many things that he needs to overcome and I just don't see that happening. I was encouraged earlier in the year but not now.
David:I know this isn't the answer you want, but I just don't know. How am I supposed to know with the amount of information we have? There's been some talk that Gregory is doing well and is taking the right steps toward returning. But we haven't seen him in almost a year, and there's not a lot of information to go on. It would certainly be a big boost to this defense, but I don't think it's something you can count on.