It’s a time-honored tradition. A player who might be on the move in the NFL has his name connected to the Dallas Cowboys. It’s a sure-fire way to get some notice for a media report. It can be easily dismissed, but sometimes there is some real “truth” to the connection. Either from behind-the-scenes sources confirming the interest, or just because it makes sense for the Cowboys to add such a player, the story shouldn’t be dismissed totally.
The Cowboys have gone a long way toward revamping the interior of the defensive line. They spent multiple draft picks and added bodies in free agency. My colleague Tom Ryle has an excellent rundown on some of those changes in this article. One thing that is still kind of missing is that respected veteran presence from a player who has been a big-time player in the league for a long time. Maybe Geno Atkins could fill that role.
The Cowboys tired that path last year, twice, with Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe. Neither worked out, McCoy because of injury and Poe because of fitness. So the hesitation of revisiting that is legit. But Atkins seems to still have gas in the tank and if he is cleared from injury, could be more than just a presence, but a contributor.
It was reported recently that Atkins will be going in for medical clearance in a few weeks. The doctor who preformed his surgery and will do that examination just happens to be the Cowboys team doctor.
Checking in on a top free agent: Ex-#Bengals All-Pro and Pro Bowl DT Geno Atkins has a checkup with #Cowboys team doctor Dan Cooper in a few weeks and is expected to be cleared from a torn rotator cuff by July 1, source said. Multiple teams remain interested. He’ll be deliberate.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 4, 2021
To be clear, that’s not a free agent visit to the Cowboys, but the Cowboys team doctor doing a medical checkup on a patient. But, it could help sway the Cowboys thinking if they are inclined to add a veteran defensive tackle.
As for the article making the “it just makes sense” connection between the Cowboys and Atkins, here is the commentary from Bleacher Report.
It’s debatable as to whether Geno Atkins was ever a household name during his time with the Cincinnati Bengals despite his ranking right alongside names like Aaron Donald as an elite interior pass-rusher.
Either way, Atkins fell all the way off the map last year after suffering a shoulder injury in training camp and limping through the season before getting shut down after eight games.
According to Rapoport, Atkins anticipates medical clearance by July 1 and has several interested teams. No wonder, as Atkins, now 33, has 76 sacks over 161 games and projects to excel quite well in a rotation.
It’s fitting that Atkins’ checkup will come with a Dallas Cowboys team doctor, as that rebuilding defense needs all the help it can get. Dallas is going back to basics after a convoluted scheme created disaster last year, and it doesn’t get much more basic and effective than Atkins disrupting pockets from the heart of the trenches.
Best Fit: Dallas Cowboys
What’s your call BTB? Would you pursue Atkins or are you good with the current state of defensive tackle?