The calendar has moved into the month of June, which means that bargains are to be had in NFL free agency. High-profile veterans who haven’t signed with a new team by now are unlikely to get large contracts. They most likely will get one- or two-year deals that could come with a lot of incentives built in while keeping cap hits low this year.
Stephen Jones has said the Cowboys are not done in free agency, and like they do most years they will bring in a veteran or two over the next month or so before training camp. One name is still out there that has been connected to the Cowboys several times this offseason. Maybe now that the Cowboys have more cap room with the post-June 1 financial adjustments kicking in, something could happen.
Linebacker Anthony Barr is the name we keep hearing around the Cowboys. The Dallas defense could certainly use another piece at linebacker with Micah Parsons and Leighton Vander Esch the only vets that can be counted on. Jabril Cox is coming off his ACL injury and oozes potential, but we haven't seen it on the field yet. Barr would solidify things and ESPN’s Matt Bowen likes the match.
7. Anthony Barr, ILB
Best fit: Dallas Cowboys
There is a premium on second-level players with sub-package traits in Dan Quinn’s defensive system. The Cowboys played a league-low 11 snaps of base defense in 2021. Enter Barr, who has the three-down ability to drop in coverage, pressure the QB and/or track the ball in the run game.
While I don’t see high-level impact ability with Barr at this stage of his career, he can be schemed-up in Quinn’s defense as a blitzer, and we know he has the ability to match/carry underneath in coverage. Barr picked off three passes last season in Minnesota.
Plus, with another rangy linebacker in Dallas, Quinn can drop Micah Parsons down as a defensive end in clear passing situations. The 2021 Defensive Rookie of the Year registered a pass rush win rate of 29.2% last season, tops in the NFL.
This addition really does seem to make sense for the Cowboys. Of course, as always, it will come down to money so we’ll have to wait and see if the Cowboys are now ready to pounce. It would certainly alleviate a depth issue the Cowboys have at the position on defense.