Former Cowboys Dorance Armstrong Says 'It's Exciting' To Join Washington Commanders

The Washington Commanders have been on the losing end of the Dallas Cowboys rivalry, but having some of their guys on this side now may help turn things around.
Nov 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Dorance Armstrong (right) reacts with defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (left) against the Minnesota Vikings during the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Dorance Armstrong (right) reacts with defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (left) against the Minnesota Vikings during the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports / Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Commanders have a long way to go before ever tying up their series recrod against the Dallas Cowboys.

Though the rivalry is a historic one, the Commanders have dropped four of the last five contests against the Cowboys, and have only won three of the last 10.

READ MORE: Commanders Draft Class Fully Signed

Since Washington defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. first entered the league in 2018 with Dallas his team has only lost four games in the rivalry and only once has lost back-to-back matchups.

Former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. now with the Washington Commanders.
Nov 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Dorance Armstrong (right) reacts with defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (left) against the Minnesota Vikings during the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports / Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

"Trying to turn a program around, it takes a lot. You got to be willing to sacrifice a lot of things. It's a big grind. It's not easy. It's going to take everybody."

Dorance Armstrong Jr., Commanders DE

While the Cowboys get ridiculed for not winning the Super Bowl or even finding much postseason success, they've been participants in the NFL Playoffs six times in the last 10 years.

Meanwhile, the Commanders have only participated in playoff football twice in the same stretch. For Washington, being made fun of for getting to the tournament but not getting the ultimate prize would be a massive upgrade.

That turnaround, from nearly annual punching bag to yearly contender, is exactly what former Dallas defensive end is looking to help Washington complete, and it's a challenge he's looking forward to as he enters his first year with the franchise.

"It's exciting," Armstrong said about the challenge. "Trying to turn a program around, it takes a lot. You got to be willing to sacrifice a lot of things. It's a big grind. It's not easy. It's going to take everybody."

Everybody is what they had in attendance for the voluntary portion of the offseason. Something that wasn't a total surprise, but still significant given that anyone could have chosen not to be there.

The total presence and participation of the Commanders roster shows how invested the group is, and has allowed the team to compete and grow with each other on a daily basis. And has facilitated the team maturing ahead of schedule in a lot of ways as they enter the break between minicamp and training camp.

"A lot of install had been through the first part of the offseason program. And now that those installs are going down, you're seeing the skill and the execution going up and it's been really exciting to see," coach Dan Quinn said at the completion of the team's mandatory minicamp. "So, I'm thrilled with the guys. They've really put in the work."

Fellow Washington newcomer linebacker Frankie Luvu pointed out that to the players the shift from voluntary practices to mandatory minicamp wasn't much of a change at all becuase they've been together from the start.

Even in years past when a Commanders player wasn't notably absent, there have been those with expiring contracts who opted not to participate in the physical aspects of the offseason program.

Not this year. This year, as Armstrong said is needed, everybody is invested. Nobody is taking a day off. And even if only evident in the approach the team is taking these days the turnaround has already begun, it would seem, in Washington.

READ MORE: Protecting the Team Important During Break Between Camps


Stick with CommanderGameday and the Locked On Commanders podcast for more coverage of the Washington Commanders throughout the 2024 season.


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David Harrison

DAVID HARRISON

David Harrison has covered the NFL since 2015 as a digital content creator in both written and audio media. He is the host of Locked On Commanders and a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. His previous career was as a Military Working Dog Handler for the United States Army. Contact David via email at david.w.harrison82@gmail.com or on Twitter @DHarrison82.