It was reported Monday afternoon that the Dallas Cowboys will plan to go after Wesley Woodyard. If the Cowboys do sign Woodyard, he would immediately become a starter at the weak side linebacker position. In 2013, that position was played by Bruce Carter. The 2011 second round pick struggled mightily in the first year of the new scheme. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli may believe that Carter will fit better as a strong side linebacker.
Woodyard has had a decorated career out in Denver. He has never garnered much attention, but he has been the epitome of a consistent player. In 2013, Woodyard had 84 tackles, three forced fumbles, and four pass deflections. Woodyard is perfect for the weak side linebacker position because he can make a ton of plays in the backfield and he can defend against the pass. His versatility is a key component to his value in free agency. If the Cowboys want to move Sean Lee over to the weak side position, Woodyard could very well play inside as a middle linebacker.
The main problem with this, however, is how cap-strapped the Cowboys are. With a little less than $2 million in cap space, the Cowboys won’t have enough money to sign Woodyard. Also, the Cowboys have expressed interest to Henry Melton. To sign these two players, the Cowboys have to make some cuts. Miles Austin is almost good as gone for the Cowboys. But to save the most money, they would have to designate Austin as a June 1st cut.
This leaves us to believe that the Cowboys will either cut DeMarcus Ware or get him to take some sort of pay cut. Ware hasn’t been the same since 2011. While it is good to hear that Ware finally got his elbow scoped, it should also be known that he has had a myriad of injuries besides the elbow injury. Regardless of what the Cowboys do, there is no doubt that Woodyard would make this defense a much better one.
It is important that the Cowboys upgrade all three levels of the defense. Grabbing another linebacker like Woodyard would help the Cowboys a lot. Unlike the two best linebackers in Dallas, Woodyard has rarely missed time in his career. If the Cowboys add Woodyard, I would argue that the combination of Carter, Lee, and Woodyard would be one of the best in the entire league. All three are already good players. But by playing together, they can be transcending for this defense.