The Dallas Cowboys were slow out of the gates as the NFL’s legal tampering period unfolded. They got on the good foot with a huge Gerald McCoy signing.
As the NFL’s legal tampering period began to unfold last week, the short window before the “official” free-agent signing period begins where teams can put deals in place with players, the Dallas Cowboys seemed to be slow getting out of the starting gates. It had us worried for a while and it still does a bit, but there are reasons beyond those stated for optimism.
While their show of patience and the success they’ve managed to have over the last few years, from a team-building perspective, are things to hang your faith on here, they finally did make a deal with a player who should go a long way towards restoring that hope as well. This player was none other than six-time NFL Pro Bowler and All-Pro defensive tackle, Gerald McCoy.
Any smart person would tell you that when looking for answers, you follow the money, so that’s where we will start. McCoy signed a three-year contract with the Cowboys, worth a max of $20.25 million according to ESPN.com.
While McCoy was guaranteed $7 million at signing per Spotrac.com, with his signing bonus, his 2020 salary, combined with $1.5 million of his 2021 salary, the Cowboys can get out from under the remaining $11.3 million if they so choose by cutting McCoy prior to the “fifth league day of 2021”. If they choose to hold on to him for the remainder of the deal, which we would hope so as that means he is producing, then the deal isn’t a bad one at all.
McCoy signed with the Panthers last season on a deal that technically paid him $8 million, but could have been worth as much as $10.25 million had he hit all of his sack bonus elevators (6.5: $500,000, 8: $1.5M). Based on the fact that he had a better season last season than in the season prior, based on most statistics, to sign him for less average money than he made last season is a steal. Some will point to age but he is still in his prime for a defensive lineman, even if the last leg of it, while he has still been highly productive over the last few seasons as well.
To look at the football side of it, it’s a home run. The Dallas Cowboys have definitely lost Robert Quinn and Maliek Collins, a run stuffer and a pass rusher. The beauty of Gerald McCoy is that he can do both and excels in both areas. He is what we like to call one of those defensive linemen that “plays the run, on the way to the quarterback”. That’s a great part of what has made McCoy special throughout his career.
The numbers tell the same story. Although last season was the first season in six where he played in all 16 games, he has managed 5.0 or more sacks and nearly 30 tackles in every season since his second year in 2011.
While some will try and poke holes in the signing as they always do, be they Cowboys fans or not, this was a home run by owner Jerry Jones and the crew. These were the reasons why landing Gerald McCoy was the perfect signing.