Barring something completely unlikely, Dallas Cowboys fans can forget the idea of adding free agent pass-rusher Jared Allen. For the same reasons that owner and general manager Jerry Jones decided to part ways with franchise sack-leader DeMarcus Ware, it probably makes sense to shy away from Allen’s asking price.
This is a look at five remaining free-agent defensive ends that may or may not be pursued by the Cowboys. The list that follows isn’t particularly exciting but it’s easier to consider when realizing that the cupboard isn’t exactly bare at Valley Ranch, at least not concerning true 4-3 defensive ends.
2014 newcomer Jeremy Mincey, recently signed away from the AFC champion Denver Broncos joins a defensive end corps that seems to offer more questions than answers.
In addition to Mincey, Dallas also has George Selvie on the roster for next season. The fifth-year veteran tallied seven sacks for the Cowboys last season after being signed as training camp began. Prior to joining Dallas, Selvie had all of three quarterback sacks.
Third-year vet Tyrone Crawford looks to return from a season-ending Achilles injury suffered on the first day of training camp last summer. At 6′ 4” and weighing around 285 pounds, I’m not even certain Crawford stays at defensive end in favor of sliding inside to defensive tackle. The former Boise State defensive lineman has exactly zero sacks heading into 2014.
Kyle Wilber, another third-year guy, from Wake Forest has played both outside linebacker in the now-scrapped 3-4 scheme and also defensive end in Dallas’ newish 4-3 alignment. Wilber also saw some time at outside linebacker last season as injuries kept mounting on a Dallas defense that, statistically speaking, ended up the franchise’s worst ever. Wilber has all of two quarterback sacks for his young career.
So, it stands to reason that Jones has to be looking at any and all possibilities, not named Allen, for immediate help rushing the passer. The upcoming 2014 NFL Draft could offer some solutions, but there’s no guarantee that things pan out for the Cowboys since they’re first selection doesn’t take place until the 16th pick of the opening round—Dallas traded way down in the opening round last year so there’s no way to know how the draft will help or not.
What we do know is this: The Cowboys have limited funds and will have to carefully consider each of the following names as possible additions for a defensive front that is being completely rebuilt, even if that project does begin a year too late.