Speculation about whether Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh hitting free agency is over. Starting on March 10th, 32 teams will get a chance to lure arguably the hottest free agent available.
So, should the Dallas Cowboys seek out Ndamukong Suh?
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It’s no mystery that the Cowboys are aiming to beef up their defensive line. A major bullet point on everyone’s wish list is to find talented pass rushers.
Dallas ranked 26th in pass last year, allowing an average of 251.9 yards a game. The defense finished 19th overall, surrendering an average of 355.1 yards per game.
Dallas exceeded expectations on the defensive side of the house, but the Cowboys need to improve there if they want to add a sequel to their 2014 campaign.
If the Cowboys are to consider Suh as a long-term solution, owner and general manager Jerry Jones will have to offer a bank to sign the free agent.
The former second overall pick in 2010 considers himself a top player in the NFL and wants to be paid like one.
To sign the 28-year-old, just to be clear, we are talking about a contract that will mostly likely surpass Houston Texan’s J.J. Watt‘s contract worth $100 million spread over six years.
While it might be nice to land the top free agent, reality says the Cowboys have little wiggle room in the bank. According to Kevin Patra from NFL.com, Detroit saved $26.8 million by not using the franchise tag on Suh. Despite watching the six-foot-four march towards the free agent market, the Lions now have salary cap room and the ability sign more players.
The Cowboys blueprint is very similar at the moment — sign the best players available at the best possible prices.
Now that Dallas is using their franchise tag on wide receiver Dez Bryant, the Cowboys will spend their energy sorting out a long-term deal for the talented wide out before the July 15th deadline.
There’s also the dilemma of who will carry the ball in 2015. If running back DeMarco Murray lands on another team, the Cowboys will look towards free agency or the upcoming draft to replace the tailback.
Though other areas need attention on the depth chart, it’s hard not to glance at Suh’s caliber. In his five seasons as a pro, Suh has played in 78 regular season games, missing only two games in his career. He has totaled 180 tackles (239 combined), 36 sacks, 15 pass deflections, two forced fumbles and one interception.
There’s no denying his resume. His talent is the type that pushes defenses over the edge, and teams into a different orbit. Based on Suh’s arrival, Detroit capitalized on his progression by adding depth around him.
The result was a strong, consistent defense — a recipe the Cowboys are desperately looking for.
Personally, if it can be done somehow, I think Suh’s arrival in Dallas is a welcome notion. His skills will anchor the Dallas defense. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli will have another tool in his program.
And I believe that there are enough quality players in the locker room to keep Suh at bay, and focused on doing what he does best: playing football.
At the end of the day, if Suh wants to play for Dallas he’ll have to bend his payment requirements. Given that his talents will be heavily sought after in the market, it’s hard to see Suh surrender to anything less than top coin.