There are plenty of free-agent values that remain on the defensive side of the ball and they should be on the Dallas Cowboys’ radar. Dallas has already signed the likes of quarterback Dak Prescott, safety/linebacker Keanu Neal, cornerback Jourdan Lewis and safety Damontae Kazee in NFL Free Agency. Those have been a few of the Cowboys free agency moves, but the defense still needs some help.
Dallas should be active in free agency the next few weeks, hopefully solidifying the defense before the NFL Draft. With that in mind, here are some Cowboys free agency targets on the defensive side of the ball.
Remaining Cowboys Free Agency Targets
K.J. Wright, Linebacker
The Cowboys have many question marks at linebacker heading into the 2021 season, including the health of Leighton Vander Esch and the uncertain future of Sean Lee. Adding a linebacker of K.J. Wright’s level will increase the depth at the position. It would also give the Cowboys a durable player that has recorded 100+ combined tackles in five of his last seven seasons.
It should be mentioned that Wright is 31 years old, but he has experience playing in a Dan Quinn-style defense. Wright recently told CowboysSI.com that Dallas has certainly always been on my list of ‘dream teams,'” The position of need, along with Wright’s affinity for playing in Dallas, should make him the top target still available in free agency.
Geno Atkins, Defensive Tackle
The Cowboys need to add depth on the defensive line after Tyrone Crawford’s recent retirement. Dallas ranked 31st in the league against the run last season, giving up 158.8 rushing yards per game.
Geno Atkins could help solve some of the Cowboys’ issues upfront. Atkins is an eight-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro. But, the 33-year-old was only able to play in eight games in 2020, due to a shoulder labrum tear, and he is well past his prime. But, from 2014-19, Atkins has played in 16 games each season, including having nine-plus sacks every season from 2015-18. Atkins is certainly aging, but he could be a good value signing for the Cowboys, who need help on their front-seven, making him one of the best defensive tackle targets.
Richard Sherman, Cornerback
Richard Sherman has been linked to the Cowboys, due to the Dan Quinn factor. Quinn coached Sherman in Seattle during some of the cornerbacks’ best seasons. Obviously, the Cowboys need help in the secondary, and Sherman could be a veteran presence for the younger defensive backs.
Sherman is also coming off a 2020 season where he only played in five games due to a calf injury. At this point in free agency, most of the higher-priced players are already signed, so the Cowboys will be bargain shopping for the proven veterans, mostly with a history of injuries.
The former Seahawk and 49er is still a very intelligent player and he is accustomed to the defense the Cowboys will be running. Taking a run at Sherman would be a low-risk, high-reward signing for Dallas.
Melvin Ingram, Edge Rusher
There is an uncertain future surrounding the Cowboys edge rushers, including Aldon Smith and Randy Gregory. Smith is currently a free agent and it does not look like the Cowboys will bring him back. Gregory has yet to play a full season in the NFL, due to various reasons, making it difficult to trust him to be on the field week in and week out.
So, the Cowboys should be in the market for an edge rusher, and Melvin Ingram would be a great addition. Ingram, just like the previous targets, missed some time last season due to a knee patella sprain. But from 2017-19, he was a Pro Bowler and recorded 24.5 sacks over those three years.
Pairing Ingram with DeMarcus Lawrence would give the Cowboys a formidable pass-rushing duo that should be able to provide plenty of pressure. When you have a young secondary like the Cowboys do, having good edge rushers is vital.
These players should be the Cowboys free agency targets, and signing any of these four players would upgrade their defense and provide them some leeway to draft best player available when the draft comes around.