Sometimes the only clue we have the Dallas Cowboys may have interest in a particular free agent is by connecting the dots. That was certainly true last year after Dan Quinn became the new defensive coordinator when Keanu Neal and Damontae Kazee followed him to Dallas from Atlanta, and, the same could happen again this year if Foysade Oluokun does the same.
Believe it or not, but Dan Quinn isn’t the only connection Foyesade Oluokun has to the Dallas Cowboys. His high school teammate and close friend Ezekiel Elliott also just so happens to further strengthen the link the former Atlanta Falcons linebacker has to Dallas. It may just be a coincidence, but an it’s interesting nonetheless.
Really cool subplot of today's game -- Foyesade Oluokun was HS teammates with Ezekiel Elliott.— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) November 14, 2021
Early today, Oluokun made a tackle on Zeke. https://t.co/y8dtzVwSbe
With the undeniable link Oluokun has with the Cowboys due to his connection with both Dan Quinn and Ezekiel Elliott, it wouldn’t be in the least bit surprising if he wasn’t on their radar already. And, the need for more help at linebacker could further cement the Cowboys interest in the former Falcons linebacker.
With Leighton Vander Esch and Keanu Neal possibly departing via free agency, that would leave only Micah Parsons as the only proven linebacker under contract for the Cowboys. Because of that they need to not only upgrade the position, but also add more depth either through free agency or the 2022 NFL Draft, possibly both.
Through his 64 games and 41 starts with the Falcons, Oluokun, a 2018 sixth-round pick (200th overall) out of Yale, collected 462 combined tackles, five sacks, seven forced fumbles, five interceptions, 11 pass breakups, and a fumble recovery.
He has shown vast improvement while earning more reps progressively since his rookie season. In 2020 he put up his best numbers yet, having recorded 77 solo tackles, three sacks, and two interceptions. It was an intriguing preview of what was yet to come, because he blew those some of those numbers out of the water in 2021.
Most combined tackles this season:— NFL Stats (@NFL_Stats) January 13, 2022
Foyesade Oluokun - 192
Jordyn Brooks - 184
Bobby Wagner - 170
CJ Mosley - 168
Roquan Smith - 163
Denzel Perryman - 154
De’Vondre Campbell - 146
Kyzir White - 144
Eric Kendricks - 143
Cole Holcomb - 142
After moving from WILL to MIKE linebacker in 2021, Oluokun ended up leading the league in tackles, easily surpassing the 117 tackles he made the season prior in 2020. Playing a 17-game season certainly helped increase his tackle totals, however, averaging nearly a dozen tackles a game is nothing to scoff at.
All in all, Oluokun is a young, versatile player who can play multiple LB positions if signed by the Cowboys this offseason. He already has a familiarity with Quinn and his system, and a high school friend in Elliott on the roster. The only real question that remains is is he interested in coming to Dallas and how much will it cost?
According to Pro Football Focus, Oluokun’s contract projection is a three-year, $22.5 million deal ($7.5 million per year, $14 million guaranteed). For a young (26 years old), talented, and versatile linebacker who already has ties to the organization and would be a great fit, those are numbers the Cowboys should easily find agreeable. But, will they?