Is Dante Fowler a good target for the Dallas Cowboys?

Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Cowboys haven’t been shy about going to the Atlanta Falcons’ well for defensive players. Dan Quinn, Dallas’ current defensive coordinator and Atlanta’s previous head coach, has a relationship with that Falcons roster.

Last year, Quinn moved two former defensive starters from Atlanta and plugged them into the starting lineup in Dallas. Those two players, Damontae Kazee and Keanu Neal, didn’t exactly light the world on fire but they played big roles for a low price and helped the Dallas Cowboys defense make one of the biggest single-season improvements in the league last year.

When word broke this week another former Falcon has been released, it was hard not to think of how he’d fit on the Dallas Cowboys. As a former double-digit sacker (11.5 sacks in 2019) Dante Fowler has been an impact player in the past. Could Dan Quinn get him to be an impact player again?

Would Dante Fowler Jr be a good addition on this Dallas Cowboys defense?

Dante Fowler Jr, the former No. 3 overall pick of Jacksonville, wasn’t a great player for Dan Quinn’s Falcons. After gathering over 11 sacks and 35 pressures in his last season in LA, he combined for just 7.5 sacks and 37 pressures the next two seasons in Atlanta. His missed tackle percentage also dropped from a career best 12.1% in 2019, to 25.8 and 16.3 respectively.

So why exactly would Dan Quinn be interested in someone like Fowler?

Two reasons:

  1. There may be a need at EDGE
  2. Fowler performs well under certain conditions

Regarding Reason 1, the Dallas Cowboys are unsettled on the EDGE. Randy Gregory is a free agent and with a cap hit of $27 million, DeMarcus Lawrence is possibly on the chopping block. While letting either leave is not advisable, it’s certainly possible.

Finding a veteran to come in and hold down the fort until a more permanent solution can be found is probably a good idea. Even if Dallas keeps their two EDGE starters, you can never have enough pass-rushers and at the right price, someone like Fowler would hold value on this Quinn defense.

Regarding Reason 2, Dante Fowler is a player who performs well when he doesn’t have to be “the guy.” When other players demand the focus of the opposition, Fowler thrives. When no one is around to command double-teams and take those chip blocks, Fowler does not thrive. It’s as simple as that.

The Dallas Cowboys have the most efficient pass rusher in the NFL in Micah Parsons. He’s going to command the attention of any and all NFL defenses. Whether they keep both Gregory and Lawrence or just one, Dallas will have at least two players who will command more attention than Fowler in 2022.

However you look at things, Fowler’s situation in Dallas will be much more similar to when he was in LA than when he was in Atlanta. That’s because it’s all about the talent around him.

At 27 years old, the 6-foot-3 255lbs pass-rusher still has plenty left in the tank. And coming off two disappointing seasons, the price won’t be high either. This sets the stage for a pretty good “bargain signing” for the Dallas Cowboys. And we all know how Stephen Jones loves him some bargains.

Dante Fowler isn’t good enough to be the main man of a defense but he’s pretty good in a complementary role. Assuming the Dallas Cowboys don’t lose both their DEs, a complementary role is all he’d be asked to play for Dan Quinn.

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The Dallas Cowboys should be interested in Dante Fowler. He won’t break the bank but he could fill a valuable role given the talent around him.