The Dallas Cowboys continue to be beset by problems at defensive end.
Projected starters DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory are already suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Now Benson Mayowa, a restricted free agent the Cowboys poached from the Oakland Raiders to help make up for the absences of Lawrence and Gregory, is undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Tuesday.
Coach Jason Garrett made the announcement on Mayowa before the start of the team’s mandatory three-day mini camp, which begins today and runs through Thursday.
They Cowboys don’t think the injury is serious and expect Mayowa to be ready for the training camp in six weeks.
“He is going to have a scope on his knee this afternoon,” Garrett said. “We don’t think it’s a serious thing. He will be back in no time at all and be ready close to the start of the training camp.”
Garrett said Mayowa has done an excellent job so far in getting acclimated to the team and has made a lot of progress.
Still this is setback for a Cowboys team desperate for help at defensive end.
Mayowa had just two sacks in 28 games for the Raiders but the Cowboys are betting on the come, hoping that he could have breakout season in Dallas.
It’s one reason they signed to a three-year offer sheet worth $8.25 million, including $4 million in the first year.
Lawrence is not only dealing with the suspension to start the season but he is recovering from back surgery that is keeping him out of workouts.
Garrett acknowledges the issues at defensive end but remains confident the Cowboys will be okay. The Cowboys are practicing with Gregory and rookie fourth-round pick Charles Tapper at right end with Ryan Russell, Jack Crawford and David Irving at left end.
“I think we have created competitive situations on our defensive line,” Garrett said. “A couple of these guys have been injured over the course of OTAs and have not been available to us. We are confident those guys will be back. We have a couple of situations where we are dealing with suspensions at the outset of the season. But we like the guys we have put together. We like the competition that is going on out there, guys competing for playing time. I think everyone is benefiting from that.”