Dante Fowler Jr, EDGE
Previous Team: Atlanta Falcons
Fowler would not be the first former Atlanta Falcon Dan Quinn (current Dallas Cowboys DC) could ask the front office to sign. In his last season as head coach, Quinn coached Fowler on a defense that was as abysmal as advertised. More than a year has passed and Quinn has shown that he still has the chops to be an elite DC. Fowler, meanwhile, could use a rehabilitation year similar to the one he received in Los Angeles in 2019.
It’s something to pay attention to as we get closer to free agency, but Fowler made $6 million in 2021 and came off a season where he had 4.5 sacks, six tackles for loss, and three forced fumbles. Fowler has good athletic ability but has often been a raw prospect, something that has plagued him since he’s been in the league as a top-five draft pick. The Cowboys took a good athlete in Tarrell Basham, last offseason, and turned him into a valuable role player down the stretch.
(Basham had roughly the same production as Fowler without the playtime)
Fowler meets most length and athleticism requirements for most teams and with the Cowboys seeing Randy Gregory and Dorance Armstrong appear as free agents on their contract sheets, the team is probably looking at some contingency plans if they can’t sign either edge rusher in March.
Fowler might give Dan Quinn some familiarity with some athleticism to challenge tackles on the edge while the team gets stronger on the interior and with DeMarcus Lawrence playing a full season on the opposing edge. With the contract Fowler might want, it’ll be hard for the Dallas Cowboys to fork up a lump sum to sign him, but with his recent release, he could be eyeing a bounce-back opportunity with the coach that wanted him in the first place.