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Dallas Cowboys Free Agency Focus: Pernell McPhee Could Set The Edge

Pernell McPhee came on pretty strong for the Baltimore Ravens the past few seasons in a limited role. Now set to hit free agency, could McPhee find a bigger role with Marinelli's Rushmen?

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To continue the trend of looking at affordable free agent options for the Dallas Cowboys, McPhee could be a name of interest. According to Rotoworld, the Baltimore Ravens are not likely to pay for McPhee's services, leaving the four-year veteran looking for a new home.

Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome was called a compensatory-pick hoarder by the Baltimore Sun, it's likely he may grab another if McPhee signs elsewhere. The best teams in the league churn their rosters constantly, the Cowboys will certainly need to do a little work on that defensive line in this upcoming free agency.

Pernell McPhee was a fifth-round pick from Mississippi State in 2011. There wasn't much raving about McPhee coming out of college, except for two seasons of selections to the All-SEC team. His sophomore year was his finest, where McPhee recorded 56 tackles, 5 sacks, and was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week twice.

McPhee has played every position on the Ravens defensive line but made the switch to outside linebacker in 2013. In his rookies season, McPhee played in all 16 games, recorded  23 tackles, a forced fumble and six sacks. In 2013, McPhee provided the strip-sack of Peyton Manning that helped vault them to the AFC Championship Game. In that game, McPhee would tip a Tom Brady pass that would be intercepted by Danell Ellerbe and catapult the Ravens into the Super Bowl. The Ravens would go on to defeat the San Francisco 49er's 34-31.

McPhee had a particularly great season in 2014, where he recorded nine sacks. According to PFF, McPhee was as disruptive as any with a +28.4 rating. He was assigned mainly as a rusher but still graded a +3.9 in rush defense. McPhee had 24 quarterback hits, 40 hurries, 2 batted passes and created 22 negative plays.

Many in Baltimore are already counting on McPhee being gone for 2015, it remains to be seen what type of payday he'll command. A few of his teammates had glowing remarks to say about McPhee.

"Whenever you’ve got an outside linebacker than can play all the spots on the front seven, that’s a special thing," Suggs said. "He’s clicking right now."

When asked about McPhee, Elvis Dumervil had this to say:

"He’s our specialist," Dumervil said. "A guy who’s that size, [with] that quickness, to be able to go inside, outside. I mean, he’s a special player. I’ve never been around a guy like that before."

The Ravens have also had a history of guys having great contract years to go get paid elsewhere. In 2012, Paul Kruger led the team in sacks with nine before signing a 5-year $40 million deal with Cleveland. Arthur Jones, a fifth-rounder out of Syracuse in 2010, led the Ravens in tackles and starts and had five sacks, then turned that into a 5-year $33 million deal with Indianapolis last offseason.

McPhee is definitely looking for a raise from the $645,000 he currently makes. I believe that McPhee would be a solid addition to the roster. I know this team loves to build through the draft, but a veteran with past production and upside could help Dallas right away.

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