The Dallas Cowboys have a lot of positions they need to address this offseason, one of which being the defensive tackle spot. Currently, the Cowboys have just three defensive tackles on their roster, Neville Gallimore, Trysten Hill, and Osa Odighizuwa, that have seen consistent game action in the NFL.
It’s still a very young group, as Hill is the veteran of the three entering just his fourth season in the league, so the Cowboys could benefit by bringing in a veteran on the d-line this offseason. Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report suggested the Cowboys should trade for 29-year-old defensive tackle Michael Pierce of the Minnesota Vikings.
Here’s what Ballentine had to say about why Pierce could be a good fit.
The Cowboys are in need of defensive tackle help, particularly a run-stuffing nose tackle.
Dan Quinn’s defense was much improved this season, but Dallas still struggled to get stops in the run game while allowing 4.5 yards per carry. Though Osa Odighizuwa is a promising three-technique, the Cowboys could use a veteran in the middle.
Pierce is coming off a season in which he only played in eight games because of injury, but he looked good when he was on the field. He had a career-high three sacks and a 78.5 grade from PFF, and at age 29, he should still have some good seasons in him.
Unfortunately for the Vikings, their cap situation could make it difficult to keep Pierce. They are $14 million over the cap and could save a little over $6 million by trading or releasing him.
That would allow the Cowboys to get a valuable piece for a discounted price. With the Vikings still taking on $4 million in dead cap, the Cowboys would just have to figure out how to take on around $6 million worth of salary for this season.
While Pierce might not still be the dominant run-stopper he was with Baltimore back in 2017 and 2018, he still could be a valuable addition to the Dallas defense. His 67.1 Pro Football Focus run defense grade was 12 points higher than any defensive tackle currently on Dallas’ roster.
Michael Pierce eating a double team like it's nothing then making a play one gap over, absolute unit pic.twitter.com/aMcDtSUGYF— Nick Olson (@NickOlsonNFL) December 8, 2021
This'll happen when you leave your center one-on-one versus Michael Pierce: pic.twitter.com/tyAuV0nBqa— Nick Olson (@NickOlsonNFL) September 28, 2021
Michael Pierce is such a difference-maker for the #Vikings' defense. When healthy, he's been one of the best players on the field every time he's suited up this season. Pierce dominated in the run game yesterday and added four pressures rushing the passer. pic.twitter.com/OdeBJAy4jM— Will Ragatz (@WillRagatz) December 21, 2021
If the Cowboys were to deal for Pierce, they would only be responsible for about $6M against the cap this season. A pretty reasonable price for a solid upgrade to the defensive line.
Overall, if the Vikings are looking to deal Pierce on the cheap, the Cowboys should be very interested in acquiring the defensive tackle.