Fixing the Dallas Cowboys in Five Moves: February Edition

Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /
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Antwaun Woods, IDL, Dallas Cowboys Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
Antwaun Woods, IDL, Dallas Cowboys Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports /

Dallas Cowboys Free Agency: DT

Don’t you hate it when you take too long to negotiate with your franchise quarterback and it results in you losing more salary cap to spend on his future teammates? Me too! Fortunately, we’re now dealing with a pandemic-affected salary cap which means lesser-valued players can likely be had for a cheaper price because all the available money will likely go to the higher-valued free agents.

As it currently stands, the 2021 free agency cycle is loaded with edge and safety talent. Unlike past years, the Cowboys are not in as big of a need for edge defenders; this is not applicable to the safety room as second-year pro Donovan Wilson was the only player who displayed any optimism in the defensive backfield.

The defined needs for the Cowboys defense are defensive tackle, cornerback, and safety. The 2021 draft class once again is deep at cornerback, possesses several safeties with untouched potential, and a weaker defensive tackle class filled with unpolished athletic beasts and tapped-out run stoppers.

For that reason, the Cowboys need to attack free agency looking for the best interior defensive linemen. Last season the organization thought they had that with Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe, but due to injury and a lack of desire both didn’t materialize. The result was a defensive line that stood no chance against average interior offensive linemen.

So with another group of average defensive tackles, who do the Cowboys try and sign?

Ndamukong Suh

The Cowboys seemingly have a thing for grabbing aging talent on the interior defensive line because they are relatively inexpensive compared to when they played in their prime. Suh has made a lot of money over the years and rightfully so.

Now 34 years old, Suh is likely near the end of his career. He just won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on one of the best front sevens in all of football. I’m sure Tampa Bay would like to keep him, but they have a receiver by the name of Chris Godwin to pay.

Dallas should take advantage of this opportunity and go grab the former Nebraska Cornhusker. At 34, he still recorded 44 tackles, 6 sacks, and 19 QB pressures. For years the Cowboys have been unable to generate pressure on the interior because of players’ athletic shortcomings or raw skill. Suh could solve this problem.

Primarily playing 3-technique for the Bucs, he could continue playing at that position especially on early downs to stop the runs. In years past, the Cowboys have signed what were originally perceived as good value signings on the interior defensive line. The issue with these transactions quickly showed their colors as these free agents’ floors are marginally better than the talent already on the roster. When the players didn’t play well, the interior defensive line stood no chance, especially with their underdeveloped young players.

Suh is still powerful and nuanced enough as a pass rusher to be productive alongside Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence. Suh is still strong enough to make contributions in the running game. The latter could seriously help out a linebacker group that has been looking to regain their form from 2018, a year that now seems to operate as an anomaly.

If the team wants to bring back a player like Gerald McCoy, they can do that. But if they want to get better, they go grab Suh. Suh next to Woods is a lot better than McCoy next to Trysten Hill.