Welcome to the 2018 Preseason Eyes of the Guru, where you'll get a team-by-team overview of the IDP landscape. First up is the NFC East.
There is no lack of talent and potential among the Cowboys defensive linemen. The issue in recent seasons has been getting them on the field together. Multiple injuries and suspensions have kept this group performing well below their potential. The 2018 season looks to be more of the same. Starting tackle Maliek Collins is battling foot and hand injuries that could impact his availability early on. For the second consecutive season, David Irving will open with a suspension. Backup end Charles Tapper suffered a concussion during an offseason practice in late May but should be cleared by camp. Defensive end Randy Gregory is an outstanding talent but his career has been sidetracked by suspensions including an indefinite ban that kept him out of the game for all of 2017. Gregory is expected to apply for reinstatement before training camp and could be back on the field in 2018; though it is far from a sure thing.
From the fantasy perspective, there is a lot of potential among the Dallas linemen with one sure stud. Demarcus Lawrence appeared in seven games as a rookie in 2014, making little impact. His second year was much better, particularly over the second half of the season when Lawrence recorded seven of his eight sacks. Instead of picking up where he left off the following year, Lawrence opened the 2016 season with a four-game suspension then ended it by missing several games with injuries. He finally put it all together last year totaling 36 tackles and 22 assists with his fifteen sacks the second most in the league. One thing we have learned when it comes to the Cowboys, there is always some risk. That said if Lawrence can stay on the field he has a great chance to repeat as a top-five defensive end.