It’s sometimes funny how free agency goes. In a span of a few hours, the Dallas Cowboys virtually swapped pass rushers with the Denver Broncos. DeMarcus Ware signed with the Broncos, and Jeremy Mincey signed with the Cowboys. Obviously, the Broncos got the better end of the deal. But the Cowboys could be the real winners because they shredded $7 million in cap space by cutting ties with Ware.
Let’s shift gears to talk about who Dallas just signed in free agency today. The more productive of the two is Mincey. But there are concerns over his work ethic. I remember Mincey’s days in Jacksonville, and he was becoming a budding star. Yes, he was cut by the Jaguars because he came late to team meetings. But in 2011, the ex-Florida Gator had eight sacks. Mincey is not as productive as Ware, but he doesn’t have as much mileage or injury history.
I honestly believe Mincey could find his niche in Dallas under Rod Marinelli’s supervision. At best, Mincey is a solid starter. But he will most likely be a rotational player who can play multiple positions across the defensive line. Mincey has a lot of potential as well. He is also extremely good against the run as a guy who can contain the outside. The Cowboys signed Mincey to a 2-year deal. This is similar to the deal Dallas gave George Selvie in 2013.
On the other hand, Terrell McClain really has done nothing throughout his NFL career. He was a third-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, but he has bounced around a few teams since then. The need for a 3-technique is there, and McClain could do that. It may not be pretty, but Marinelli has had some experience with McClain. When McClain was at South Florida. he worked out for the Chicago Bears and Marinelli before the draft. Ultimately, he was chosen a few picks before by the Carolina Panthers. A few years later, McClain will have a chance to resurrect his career in Dallas. If the plan of getting Henry Melton doesn’t fall through, it should be noted that Dallas has McClain to play defensive tackle. Regardless, Dallas should still look to sign another defensive tackle or even draft a defensive tackle.
Both signings by Dallas are for depth purposes. With the limited amount of money the Cowboys have to spend, Marinelli will have to work his magic with these low-end guys. In my opinion right now, Dallas’ defensive line consists of Mincey, Ben Bass, McClain, and George Selvie. It is clear and simple that the Cowboys must make upgrades to this defensive line. Getting pressure on the quarterback is very important in the 4-3 scheme. Jerry Jones still has plenty of work to do before the 2014 NFL season rolls around.