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Cowboys free agency focus: Should Cowboys make a play for DT Linval Joseph?

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The Vikings released DT Linval Joseph in what looks to be an effort to gain cap relief, should Cowboys pounce?

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

[The Cowboys have a long list of their own free agents to consider but reality is that several will not return. In this series, we’ll look at the many free agents set to hit the open market in 2020 and if any of those might be of interest to the Cowboys. Below is a list of profiles from this series:]

DT Mike Daniels

SAF Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

SAF Karl Joseph

DT Andrew Billings

TE Eric Ebron

DE Vic Beasley

CB Chris Harris Jr.

The Cowboys have a laundry list of in-house free agents to be concerned with, which includes more than half of their defensive line set to hit the open market at the start of free agency. The Cowboys are also going to be among teams with the most cap space to spend in free agency, but some of that will be eaten up if they reach deals with Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper. .

One team that made several moves to gain cap relief on Friday was the Minnesota Vikings, they released several high-priced veterans with Pro Bowl résumés. Not only did the Vikings release cornerback Xavier Rhodes, but they also purged themselves of former two-time Pro Bowl DT Linval Joseph. The Cowboys, at the very least, should be interested in making a play for Joseph who has been very productive over the past decade.

Linval Joseph was drafted 46th overall in the 2010 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. He played out his rookie contract with the Giants and was a starter on their 2011 Super Bowl winning defense. That Giants defense stifled their playoff opponents, allowing only 14 points per game as they marched to a world title. On his rookie contract, Joseph started 46 of 53 games played, recorded 100+ tackles, 18 tackles for loss, nine sacks, and two forced fumbles.

In 2014, Joseph signed a five-year, $31.5M deal with the Minnesota Vikings. After two somewhat underwhelming years on a struggling Vikings defense, Joseph would have a resurgence in the 2016-2017 seasons. Joseph started every game in those two seasons, recording over 140+ tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, and three forced fumbles. He would be named to two consecutive Pro Bowls and help the Vikings reach the playoffs in 2017. In 2018, Linval Joseph scored his first defensive touchdown with 64-yard fumble return against the Philadelphia Eagles in week five. Over the past two seasons, Joseph has put up decent nose tackle production despite missing four starts with a few nagging injuries.

Just this past season, Joseph made another comeback in the stat sheets. In only 13 starts, Joseph recorded 44 tackles, six tackles for loss, three sacks, and a forced fumble. With the Vikings making this $10M cap-saving move, the Cowboys could check to see if they could entice Joseph at a more affordable price. Joseph, who will turn 32 this season, will be among the older free agents this offseason. His age and previous injury history will factor in any negotiations. The Cowboys would be wise to consider a veteran defensive tackle with production to help them fortify a shaky run defense with a new coaching staff.