On Feb. 23, the Los Angeles Rams released veteran linebacker Bobby Wagner from the team. This occurred just one year after signing a five-year, $50 million deal with the team in April 2022. This move was strictly regarding creating salary cap space, as the Rams have put themselves in a rough spot financially after going all-in on their Super Bowl win in the 2021 season.
Prior to signing that contract with the Rams, the Dallas Cowboys pursued Wagner in free agency. Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn spent several years with Wagner while he was the defensive coordinator with the Seattle Seahawks. Quinn directly spoke to Wagner in an effort to bring him to Dallas, but Wagner chose the Rams.
The Cowboys front office has a chance now to secure Wagner in free agency for a second straight offseason. They should focus on adding him to the defense, as he proved last season in Los Angeles that he was still an impactful defensive player in today’s NFL. Last season with the Rams he had 140 tackles, 6 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, 10 quarterback hits, and five defended passes. He was selected to a ninth-straight All-Pro team, and his PFF grade of 90.7 was the highest among all linebackers in the NFL this previous season.
The highest-graded LB by season since 2013 pic.twitter.com/IP9ImlDcJB— PFF (@PFF) February 22, 2023
The Dallas Cowboys front office also has to come to a contract agreement this offseason with pending free agent LB Leighton Vander Esch. If the Cowboys can land Wagner, and bring back Esch, the front seven in Dallas could be among the most talented in franchise history. If the Cowboys are truly “all-in” on taking that next step in the postseason, it would be wise to try and add a linebacker who has as much postseason experience and success that Wagner does.
Wagner is among several veteran free agents who has been mentioned by the media as a potential target for the Dallas Cowboys this free agency. However, with his connection to Dan Quinn, it feels like he could be a likely target for the front office if they are finally willing to spend some money.