With the draft now over, there are going to be some player releases, and some player signings, in the coming days from NFL teams. Most teams will wait on signings until after the May 8 deadline when free agent signings no longer count against the compensatory draft pick formula.
While the Dallas Cowboys did a good job of adding talent throughout their roster in the draft, one position that they failed to improve demonstratively is the defensive tackle position. They did trade for Jihad Ward, but his career has not taken off yet. Perhaps it is how they have viewed the importance of the position in the past few years, but the interior of the defensive line has been a constant question mark in Dallas. Rather than adding premier talent at the position, Dallas has relied on the likes of players from the practice squad and rotational pieces to contribute at the position.
However, one player that was a quality contributor to the Dallas defensive front was Terrell McClain. Signed away from the Cowboys last offseason to a deal that was much larger than what is should have been by the Washington Redskins, he was just released one year into the four-year deal.
Other side of the Draft: after drafting two defensive tackles, @Redskins release Terrell McClain. Four-year $21 million deal last year turns into one year, $7.5 million.— Andrew Brandt (@AndrewBrandt) April 30, 2018
His production in Dallas finally came once he was able to overcome his constant injury issues. He was a third-round pick for the Carolina Panthers in 2011, but injuries and playing out of position kept him from making a big impact. He bounced around a few training camps before the Cowboys signed him in 2014. His career year came in 2016 when he anchored the interior and finished with 21 total tackles and 2.5 sacks.
With their questions at defensive tackle, the Cowboys could very well kick the tires on reuniting with McClain. As their undrafted free agency moves tell you, the Cowboys are not set at the position. By bringing McClain back, the Cowboys will get a player who is familiar with the system, who had his best years here, and who shouldn’t cost much.
On the other hand, McClain will be 30-years-old by the start of the season, and he missed games again this past season with a toe injury. The Cowboys are making a concerted effort to get younger, so maybe a McClain reunion isn’t in their plans.
Still, if he wants to do a veteran-minimum type deal with incentives, maybe that would tempt Dallas. He certainly helped the Cowboys run defense in 2016.