The state of the Dallas Cowboys linebacker corps is one of high fascination as we near training camp. The other day Michael Sisemore pondered the notion of Dallas only keeping five linebackers - I think that’s a reality come 53-man roster time - but perhaps a sixth could be in the mix... recent New York Jet David Harris.
Jets now have released LB David Harris.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 6, 2017
The Jets are a disaster, but I’m not here to tell you what you already know. We’re here to talk about David Harris, and his potential as a Dallas Cowboys MLB.
“Jaylon Smith is the only Dallas Cowboys MLB I care about!” -someone, somewhere.
When you consider the health status of Jaylon Smith, the legitimate status being that it is a complete and total question mark at this point, it makes sense to have insurance in the heart of your defense.
David Harris has a chance to be that insurance. We’re talking about a 10-year veteran who has only missed one game since 2009. We could also talk about his 708 tackles, 35 sacks, or the fact that he’s put all of this together while playing for the Jets... but the most important thing to note is that this is a move the Cowboys, with Jason Garrett on the staff, have made many times before:
- In 2008 the Cowboys signed then 12-year veteran MLB Zach Thomas.
- Just one year later they brought in 11-year veteran MLB Keith Brooking.
- In 2013 they didn’t go quite as far back in time, but they did bring in 6-year veteran MLB Justin Durant.
- Two years later, the Cowboys brought Durant back in for a second stint thanks to Rolando McClain, you know, not being available to them.
The common denominators with these three players go beyond the fact that they were older and all still fully functional MLBs... they were all leaders in the locker room.
Keep in mind that the Cowboys lost Barry Church via free agency and that Church happened to wear a “C” on his chest. The biggest defensive voice on the team is rightfully Sean Lee’s, but with so much youth joining Rod Marinelli’s fun bunch it certainly couldn’t hurt to have another elder statesman in the room.
David Harris checks all of the boxes in terms of what the Cowboys could be looking for:
- Dallas just received a nice bit of cap space.
- He’s a solid MLB, and they need insurance at the position.
- Harris is a leader, and Jason Garrett absolutely loves leaders.
- This leadership is on defense, where the Cowboys need it more than anywhere.
- The Cowboys have made similar moves before when they acquired Zach Thomas, Keith Brooking, and Justin Durant (oh and Justin Durant again).
A tale as old as time isn’t Beauty and the Beast, it’s the Dallas Cowboys swooping in and making magic with a legit veteran middle linebacker.