Dallas Cowboys: Should the team add yet another troubled pass rusher?


It’s no secret, the Dallas Cowboys are in need of effective pass rushers. As sacking opposing quarterbacks was their biggest weakness in 2014, the Cowboys have focused this offseason on adding talent to their defensive line to help solve that problem. And their likely not done doing so. But can the Cowboys afford to take a chance on another pass rusher with a troubled past?

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On Friday, the New Orleans Saints announced they will release their 2014 sack leader, hybrid linebacker/defensive end  Junior Galette. This news follows some disturbing off-the-field incidents. After signing a four-year, $41.5 million extension last season, the 27-year old pass rusher was arrested in January for battery after a woman claimed he and his cousin, Terrance Banks, forced her out of their home, scratching her face and ripping off one of her earrings during an argument over cab fare. Those charges were dropped a month later after further investigation.

But last month, the NFL was rumored to be looking into a 2013 video of a man (warning: graphic content and language), accused of being Galette, involved in a beach brawl in Florida. In it, the accused is throwing punches and swinging a belt, striking both a man and a woman. Galette’s attorney, Ralph Whalen, has disputed that the young pass rusher is in fact the man in the video.

Although, if proven true, this video would be enough to justify any player getting released from their team, there seems to be other reasons why the Saints have decided to cut this young man. It was rumored Saints head coach Sean Payton actually wanted to release Galette immediately after last season, before these incidents came to light. There seems to be a history of immature behavior and brashness that hasn’t sat well with the Saints organization. And until now, Galette’s talents have outweighed this concern.

Galette suffered a severe pectoral injury during mini-camp this offseason, that will likely keep him out until sometime in the regular season. That’s just another obstacle for a team deciding to take chance on the talented player. And Galette is certainly talented, recording 85 total tackles and 22.0 sacks in his last two seasons with the Saints. Pro Football Focus ranked him as the second best pass rusher at his position last season and the best defensive player for New Orleans by a mile.

But should the Cowboys even consider adding a player like Galette? Talent-wise, there’s little doubt he is the type of player Dallas would benefit from adding. But due to his troubled past, it’s unlikely the Cowboys reputation could take the hit. This organization has already added both veteran defensive end Greg Hardy and rookie rusher Randy Gregory. Both players come in with a ton of baggage. Hardy is already facing a four-game suspension for his part in a domestic violence incident from last year. And Gregory, whom experts considered a top-ten talent, dropped to 60th overall in the draft following a failed drug test at the NFL’s Scouting Combine. Adding a player like Galette to this roster would simply give the Cowboys an even bigger negative public image.

Obviously, Dallas must conduct it’s due diligence and research the possibility of adding Galette. But ultimately, I believe the Cowboys should pass on this elite pass rusher. The fact the Saints were willing to take a massive salary cap hit to part with Galette probably tells you everything you need to know about the player. And although I do believe in second chances, I also believe there are only so many one franchise can hand out at a time. Dallas has likely reached their limit for 2015.

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