Should the Dallas Cowboys inquire about Gerald McCoy?
By Tyrone Starr
Despite a lot of depth along the defensive line, the Dallas Cowboys could possibly add a veteran defensive tackle. Should they inquire about the option?
Two days ago, I wrote an article discussing the depth that the Dallas Cowboys have built along their defensive line. On Monday, a very intriguing option has come about which could further add to that depth.
Nine-year veteran defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was released by Tampa Bay Monday as the Buccaneers did not want to pay him the $13 million owed in 2019. This development, much like any other newly available free agent, begs the question about the interest level of the Dallas Cowboys.
Should the Dallas Cowboys inquire about Gerald McCoy? On one hand, attempting to sign McCoy makes a lot of sense for the Cowboys. Even though there is great depth along the defensive line, most of the talent is on the perimeter. Three defensive tackles vying for a roster spot are rookies, two of which went undrafted. Two of the other veterans, Antwaun Woods and Daniel Ross went undrafted as well.
Meanwhile, McCoy was the third overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. He has been named to the Pro Bowl six times and an All-Pro once. The only Cowboys defensive player with even a remotely close pedigree is DeMarcus Lawrence.
Another reason McCoy makes sense is his current level of play. Even in a “down” year last season, McCoy still sacked the quarterback six times, collecting 21 quarterback hits and six tackles for loss. Those six sacks would have tied for second best on the Cowboys team last season. His number of hits on the quarterback would have been second best as well while his tackles for loss would have tied him for third best on the team.
In short, McCoy is still productive, even if he is starting to show signs of decay in his play. Lastly, you have to think he’ll be motivated to take a prove it deal with a contender. Not only did Tampa Bay think he was unworthy of his salary due, but they have also been a bad team during his tenure. Only twice in his career have the Buccaneers had a winning record and he’s never played in the playoffs.
On the other hand, passing on McCoy may be the right thing to do. First of all, adding a player in his thirties, who is showing signs of decline, is never really something good NFL teams seem to do.
Secondly, McCoy may have no interest in forfeiting a hefty amount of salary. The Cowboys would likely only kick the tires if he McCoy would be interested in $5 million or less on a one-year deal. That’s more than 60% of a salary reduction for a guy used to making big money. If another team throws more money his way, will McCoy go to the highest bidder?
Lastly, are the Cowboys even interested in another veteran? They have made no attempts to kick the tires on Ndamukong Suh. They spent their first pick of the 2019 draft on a defensive tackle. It’s also not in the Dallas Cowboys’ modus operandi to sign big name talent. Sure, Dallas brought in Robert Quinn, but for every Quinn, there are several Christian Covington‘s and Kerry Hyder‘s.
Should the Dallas Cowboys inquire about Gerald McCoy? Ultimately, I believe so. All of the available veterans that play defensive tackle will be free agents next year. Bringing in a veteran with a resume like McCoy’s could be a huge boost to a team with Super Bowl aspirations.
Will Dallas do so? Don’t hold your breath.