Brian, ultimately yes but not where these images were taken. At ISO 100 through 300 or so, the D7000 has greater DR in that important range where most daylight shooting takes place, or longer shutter speeds used with landscape/tripod shooting.
I would use ADL in these conditions if using JPG. It protects both highlights and shadows.
The suggestion of fill flash is a good one, and it is not very noticable if the flash is not too close. The flash duration is so fast that it is extinguished before the reaction time of the eye<>brain that flash is not disturbing unless overpowering in strength close up. Watch a baby's or dog's reaction from 10 feet away, there is none. Here is a shot taken yesterday afternoon in daylight that has harsh shadows, like your top image. So I used diffused flash, off camera(quite a feat since it left one hand to hold the camera with a 70-200vr attached :>) ).