According to ESPNDallas’ Calvin Watkins, the Dallas Cowboys have expressed interest in signing former Denver Broncos linebacker Wesley Woodyard. Although Woodyard recorded 84 combined tackles and 1.5 sacks last season, he was also benched near the end of the year after a stinger injury he suffered in Week Five seemed to effect his play negatively. The six-year veteran is expected to be the type of bargain-priced player Dallas is searching for.
After cutting players and adjusting contracts last week, the Cowboys just recently dropped below the required NFL salary cap limit and have very little room to sign any free agents this offseason. But Dallas does have a perceived need in their linebacker corps to fill.
Last season, both starting linebackers Sean Lee and Justin Durant missed significant time due to injury. Durant could also become a cap-casualty this offseason due to his poor play in 2013. Combine those with the facts starting linebacker Bruce Carter is in the final year of his rookie contract and primary back-up linebacker Ernie Sims is currently a free agent, and the signing a cheap linebacker (or two) in free agency starts to make a lot of sense.
And Woodyard has plenty of upside to boot. In fact, the former undrafted free agent had a career year in 2012 recording 117 total tackles and 5.5 sacks for the Broncos. On top of being a nice young player, Woodyard is also a high-character guy. He was voted as the Walter Payton Man of the Year by his Denver teammates last season due to his volunteer and charity work in the local community.
Woodyard is coming off a two-year, $5 million deal in Denver. If Dallas can land him for anything under that when free agency starts tomorrow, they just may be getting one heck of a player…on the cheap.