Dallas Cowboys must pursue Tyrann Mathieu in free agency

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 23: Free safety Tyrann Mathieu
GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 23: Free safety Tyrann Mathieu /

If the Dallas Cowboys are waiting to make a splash in free agency, it should be spent pursuing former Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu.

The Dallas Cowboys have been deathly quiet through the legal tampering portion of NFL free agency. In fact, the Cowboys have yet to add a single player to their roster outside of their own free agents.

But Dallas was rumored to be interested in former Los Angeles Rams’ wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who ultimately opted for a three-year, $48 million deal with the Kansas City Chiefs. So, there is hope.

The Cowboys’ biggest offseason move so far has been the use of the franchise tag on defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. Outside of securing their own premier pass rusher, Dallas has opted to make minor moves like re-signing Brian Price and placing a second-round tender on fellow defensive tackle David Irving.

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But, as it’s been for many seasons now, the Cowboys seem content to sit on their hands during the free agency frenzy. They prefer to build their team through the draft and retain their own players.

Now, that doesn’t mean Dallas’ front office is opposed to signing veterans from other teams. But they simply prefer to do so when it makes financial sense.

Still, this bottom-feeding approach to free agency hasn’t been successful for the Cowboys in recent years. Names like Cedric Thornton, Nolan Carroll, Stephen Paea and Damontre Moore have all been failed attempts to pull quality play out of mediocre talent. All in an effort to be more “financially responsible”.

But the Cowboys have the ability to pursue top-level talent to improve their team, if needed. I think the recent release of former Arizona Cardinals’ safety Tyrann Mathieu is one of those rare opportunities that Dallas must break the bank for.

At only 25-years old, Mathieu’s considered by many to be one of the league’s premier safeties. The Pro Bowler is entering his sixth season in the NFL, which is a rare find in free agency.

Last year, Mathieu recorded 78 total tackles, seven pass defends, two interceptions and a sack playing in all 16 games for the Cards. In his best season so far, back in 2015, the “Honey Badger” posted 89 combined tackles, 17 pass defends, five interceptions, a sack and a defensive touchdown.

Adding a player like Mathieu to the Cowboys defensive secondary would lift this entire unit to another level. With the league’s best pass rusher in Lawrence pressuring opposing quarterbacks and a true ballhawking safety in Tyrann roaming the secondary, it could be a real lethal combination for Dallas in 2018 … and beyond.

The biggest issue with signing the talented safety will be his price tag, which figures to be substantial. Mathieu was released by the Cardinals after refusing to take a pay cut this offseason. The six-year veteran signed a five-year, $62.5 million deal last August. Mathieu was schedule to make $10.75 million this upcoming season.

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Whatever the cost, the Dallas Cowboys would be wise to pursue safety Tyrann Mathieu in the coming days. Although his price tag may be high, it’s rare that a young talent like the Honey Badger hits the open market. Especially one that fills a giant void on your roster.