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What's Up: Will This DE Get More Opportunity?


With free agency looming, roster turnover isn't far away. However, a significant portion of the 2020 roster is already in place. In the coming weeks, will feature players who are currently under contract for next season, analyzing their past season and their future prospects.

Today, we continue the series with defensive end Dorance Armstrong:

What's Been Good:

Armstrong has shown flashes as an edge rusher with an explosive first step and the ability to play left or right defensive end. Despite limited playing time, he registered 2.0 sacks last season, the most among the Cowboys' backup ends. His sack/strip fumble on Daniel Jones sealed a critical division road win over the Giants in November. One of the younger players on the roster, Armstrong was only 20 when the Cowboys drafted him in the fourth round in 2018. There's still room to grow.

What's Been Bad:

The two-year veteran has yet to crack consistent playing time, though that's not necessarily a full reflection of his performance. Last offseason the Cowboys added traded for Robert Quinn and signed Kerry Hyder, two experienced players who pushed Armstrong down the depth chart. He appeared in 15 games for the second straight season but played just under a quarter of the defensive snaps. To improve on last year's 8-8 finish, the Cowboys need recent draft picks such as Armstrong to take a step forward.

What's Next:

Armstrong still has two years left on his rookie deal, but the Cowboys have question marks on elsewhere on their defensive front. Quinn and Hyder are set to be unrestricted free agents, and tackle/end Tyrone Crawford is coming off hip surgery. It's possible all three return next season, but regardless, Armstrong will have a chance to make an impression on a mostly new defensive coaching staff.

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