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Can Damontre Moore earn a roster spot?

The Dallas Cowboys will have a plethora of options at defensive end going into the 2017 season. Will the under-the-radar free agent acquisition Damontre Moore be one of them?

The Dallas Cowboys didn’t make a huge splash in free agency– much to the surprise of no one. The ‘Boys aren’t usually very active in free agency, choosing to go with shrewd draft choices rather than overpaying during the free agent period. They did, however, make one potential depth signing with the acquisition of defensive end Damontre Moore, who has struggled to find a home early in his NFL career.

But that narrative has a chance to change in Dallas. Here’s why.

In OTA’s Moore has already lined up with the first team at right defensive end, alongside Maliek Collins, Cedric Thornton, and David Irving. Taco Charlton has also lined up at that spot in OTAs, and Dallas’ sack leader last year, Benson Mayowa is also out with a knee injury, so that has opened up the spot for Moore. So there might not be all too much to read into there.

But David Irving may miss the first four games of the  season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, and that could open up the door for Moore to earn some playing time.

Believe it or not, Moore actually has the second most career sacks on the Cowboys with ten. He trails only Tyrone Crawford, who has 12.5 for his career. Certainly not eye-popping stats, but it shows you the lack of experience on the Cowboys’ current roster.

And while Moore has bounced around since coming into the league in 2013 as a third round pick of the Giants, he’s still just 24 years of age. He’s made stops in Miami, Oakland, and Seattle since being released from the Giants due to immaturity concerns and underwhelming play.

Despite his status as a journeyman, he managed to catch the eye of one of the best defensive coaches in the league last season– Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll. Last year, Carroll praised Moore’s effort following a close victory against the Buffalo Bills, after the Seahawks scrapped up defensive end in the middle of the season.

“We were really excited about Damontre in practice this week,” Carroll said after a 31-25 win against the Bills last season. “I don’t know how he was sitting out there [as a free agent], but I thought he looked pretty active and looked pretty good.”

Fast forward to 2017, and Moore is under the tutelage of another one of the best defensive minds in the business– defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. The energetic coach is known for his work amongst the defensive line, earning a Super Bowl ring with the Buccaneers as their defensive line coach back in 2002.

Marinelli has also been a magician with the Cowboys, getting the most out of no-name players year in and year out. If he could work similar magic with Moore, Damontre may have a chance to stick. But only time will tell.

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