Free Agency is less than a few days away, but that hasn't stopped the flurry of players being released before the league year officially begins. This may be a good year to be the Dallas Cowboys, as it's beginning to shape up to have multiple bargain guys left for the taking. Dallas has made it their modus operandi to wait a few days into free agency before making offers to potential veterans.
The longer you wait the more desperate players get and the lower their price-tag becomes. One potential target for the Cowboys could be from a defense that has become the envy of the league. Seattle hasn't made much communication with free agent defensive end O'Brien Schofield, and he looks to be headed for the open market.
Out of high school, Schofield was ranked the 24th best defensive end in the country. He would get quite a few offers but chose to join the Wisconsin Badgers in 2005. Schofield struggled in the early part of his collegiate career but turned it up after the 2008 season. In 2009, O'Brien was named the 2009 Big Ten Conference runner-up in sacks with 12, losing out to Ryan Kerrigan. He was also the runner-up in tackles for loss with 24.5 to another potential free agent target in Brandon Graham. Schofield ranked second in the nation with tackles for loss per game. He would conclude 2009 with First-Team All-Big Ten honors and Second-Team All-American according to Scout.com.
Schofield was invited to take part in the East-West Shrine Game, and would not disappoint. After recording three solo tackles and making the game-clinching interception, Schofield was named Defensive MVP. He also planned on making an appearance in the Senior Bowl of 2010, but tore his ACL in practice. It was a shame because the week prior he had shown his versatility to play both end or linebacker and this was certain to drop his draft-status.
Nonetheless, Schofield was selected with the 130th pick in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. In his rookie year, due to his recovery, he would only appear in nine games but managed to record two sacks. His first sack was against Stephen McGee in a Christmas game against the Dallas Cowboys. In Arizona, Schofield played outside-linebacker in their 3-4 scheme. Schofield's second year was better, although he never started, he recorded five sacks and flashed his talent in the 449 snaps he played.
O'Brien would become a starter in the 2012 season for the Cards and record four sacks in nine starts. He hurt his ankle after week nine and missed the remainder of the season. That July, Schofield was cut by the Cardinals and claimed off waivers by the Seattle Seahawks.
He would appear in 13 games in 2013, but only played in 171 snaps and recorded only one sack against Cam Newton in his debut. Still, Schofield eanred himself a Super Bowl ring with Seattle that year. 2014 was a decent year for O'Brien where he returned healthy and played in all of Seattle games both regular and postseason. Pro Football Focus listed Schofield as the 26th best defensive end, but he graded positively with a +4.2 for the season and recorded three sacks.
O'Brien Schofield is looking for a bigger role in 2015 and will likely end his tenure in Seattle. Knowing the Cowboys recent trend of trying to find hidden real-estate, Schofield would make a ton of sense for the Cowboys. The Cowboys could use guy like him for their rotation, and Marinelli has worked wonders before. The potential is there, we'll soon see if the Dallas Cowboys bite. Be sure to stay tuned to BTB for all the news regarding the upcoming free agency frenzy. For my money, I would be happy with this type of signing, what say you all?