With several players on the defensive side of the ball ready to become free agents, the Dallas Cowboys should take a look at this talented defensive player.
The Dallas Cowboys have 20 players set to hit the free agent market, but it’s the defensive side of the ball that will take the biggest hits. Defensive players like Barry Church, Morris Claiborne, J.J. Wilcox, and Brandon Carr need to be replaced if they’re not re-signed.
Carr said he might retire, and Claiborne might be too expensive for the Cowboys liking. According to Pro Football Focus, Claiborne stands to get a big pay day in free agency, despite his injury-prone history. And the Cowboys are definitely not over-paying for Claiborne.
As bad as it may be to lose those players, however, the Cowboys biggest concern is on the defensive line.
We already know the Cowboys are deficient in the pass rushing department, making it an area of great concern. So with edge rusher being high on the priority list this off season, Dallas should try and sign defensive end Calais Campbell.
Campbell is set to hit the free agent market and the suitors will be lining up for his services. The Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman is one hell of a defensive stud and will fit in perfectly for the Cowboys. Although Campbell is listed as a 3-4 defensive end, he plays the 4-3 defensive tackle position, too.
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The main reason Campbell can play defensive tackle is because of his huge frame, which lists him as 6’8″ and 300 pounds. That’s a baby dinosaur who can wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks.
What’s even better is that Pro Football Focus graded Campbell at 83.9 for his position, which ranked him only behind the likes of Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams and Brandon Graham of the Philadelphia Eagles.
With Campbell at the edge, his presence would be an immediate upgrade and help younger players like David Irving, Benson Mayowa, and fourth year pass rusher Demarcus Lawrence. Campbell brings consistency in that he’s only missed six games in his career.
The versatile defensive lineman has averaged at least five sacks and 34 tackles since the 2009 season. During the 2016 regular season, Campbell recorded 8 sacks, 53 tackles, two forced fumbles, 1 interception, 1 safety, and 6 passes defended.
For a defensive lineman, that’s like video game type numbers. This exemplifies Campbell as the complete package, by playing different positions and using his God given talent.
In comparison, Mayowa led Dallas in sacks with 6, and he’s a decent rotational player. But when Dallas adds an explosive athlete like Campbell, lineman like Mayowa, Irving, and Lawrence get better because of the double-teaming that Campbell requires.
It’s a no-brainer when it comes to Dallas signing Campbell as a free agent or at least inquiring about him. Even though Campbell will be 31 at the beginning of next season and command a respectable salary (his 2016 salary was $11 million), this team needs his skill set. Period.
I’m not suggesting the Cowboys lose their minds and overspend for him, but I am suggesting and hoping they find a way to make it work. Besides his athletic ability, Campbell will bring veteran leadership, guidance, and experience to a youthful defensive line.
Further, with someone like Campbell on the team, Irvin and Mayowa can continue to develop and reach their full potential as legit pass rushers.
Dallas can’t miss the opportunity on a talented player like Campbell, especially with Lawrence’s back condition, and Randy Gregory being suspended for the entire 2017 season. The bend but don’t break approach only works for so long and if the Cowboys want to advance further in the playoffs they will need a dominant edge rusher.
Bargain hunting for a supreme pass rusher is asinine. The Cowboys should use bargain hunting for depth purposes only when it comes to the defensive front.
If Dallas wants to win another Lombardi trophy, it starts this off season, either with Campbell or someone close to his talents.