While the Cowboys defense is much improved since the disastrous 2013 unit, the team still has some work to do on that side of the ball before it is ready to compete for the NFC East again. The Cowboys ranked 16th in the NFL with 23.4 points per game allowed, as excellent defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli could only do so much with the limited talent available.
Dallas’ pass rush was inconsistent over the course of the season, and it only racked up 31 total sacks despite having a couple of dominant efforts. The need for a pass rush is even greater heading into 2016, with Greg Hardy likely heading elsewhere and Randy Gregory suspended for the first four games of 2016.
Unless Hardy unexpectedly re-sings, the Cowboys would have to dig deep on their current depth chart for a starting defensive end opposite Demarcus Lawrence. The Cowboys need an impact defensive end, and Vernon would certainly fill that role instantly.
If Dallas adds Vernon and Gregory gets it together and realizes his huge potential, the defensive line could be in business soon enough. The Cowboys could then look to draft Myles Jack or Jalen Ramsey with the fourth overall selection.
The Cowboys have just $8 million available for now, so they would need to work some cap magic, and may be outbid for Vernon by another team anyway. Still, Dallas has expressed interest in a number of free agent defensive lineman already, and could benefit greatly from adding Vernon.
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