Dallas' banged-up pass-rushing unit has sustained another significant blow.
Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory injured his calf during the team's Wednesday practice and has been placed on injured reserve, the team announced Thursday afternoon.
Dallas is already playing without premier rusher Demarcus Lawrence, who appeared in just one game (the Cowboys' Week 1 loss to the Buccaneers) before heading to injured reserve with a foot injury. Lawrence underwent surgery on the injured foot and has since been rehabbing the injury.
The Cowboys have managed to still get effective pass-rushing from its defense thanks to the performance of Gregory, who has recorded five sacks in 2021 and 29 quarterback pressures on just 177 pass-rushing snaps, good for a QB pressure rate of 16.4 percent, per Next Gen Stats. Tarell Basham has played in place of Lawrence, recording 13 pressures and one sack on 167 pass-rushing snaps.
Dallas could potentially move rookie linebacker Micah Parsons to an edge-rushing role to replace some of the production generated by Gregory, although there's a legitimate question of whether that would be best utilizing the standout defender. Parsons has proven to be a sideline-to-sideline defender capable of making plays on every down, though he's also been a very effective pass-rusher, matching Gregory's sack total and currently standing at 22 QB pressures despite only playing 118 pass-rushing snaps.
As they have with Dak Prescott, the Cowboys will again look internally to address a key injury with the hopes they can continue forward as the NFC East leaders.