3 Falcons free agents for Dallas Cowboys fans to watch

Desmond Trufant (21), Keanu Neal (22), Atlanta Falcons (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)
Desmond Trufant (21), Keanu Neal (22), Atlanta Falcons (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Dallas Cowboys hired former Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn to become their new defensive coordinator last week. And much of the speculation that has followed is concerning how Quinn will change the defense in Dallas.

One way Quinn can install his changes quickly is by adding talent from his former team. We’ve already witnessed this happen with the recent hiring of Falcons’ secondary coach and passing game coordinator Joe Whitt Jr. to those same roles in Dallas.

If Quinn and company decide to sign a defender or two from the Falcons as well, here are three of Atlanta’s pending free agents to watch …

Darqueze Dennard, CB

WIth Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis both scheduled to become unrestricted free agents themselves in March, the Cowboys will be in need of some additional bodies at the cornerback position this offseason.

Former first-round selection Darqueze Dennard makes a lot of sense as a veteran who can act as a bridge player for any potential rookies Dallas lands in the draft. Plus, the 29-year old played for both Quinn and Whitt Jr. last season as a six-game starter, racking up 36 tackles, five pass deflections, and an interception.

Keanu Neal, S

It’s no secret that the Cowboys could use a playmaker at safety. And with the introduction of Quinn as defensive coordinator plus the pending free agency of starting safety Xavier Woods, there’s an opportunity to upgrade the position.

Another former first-rounder, Keanu Neal had a solid bounce-back season in 2020 following two back-to-back injury-plagued years that limited him to just four total games. The 25-year old recorded 100 total tackles, nine tackles for loss, three QB hits, and an interception in 14 games last season.

A Pro Bowler in 2017, a new environment under his old coaches could be the ideal landing spot for Neal.

Charles Harris, DE

One position that you can never have enough talent is pass rushers. And while Dallas has a plethora on the current roster, Quinn might want to bring someone in who has experience playing in his system. Yet another former first-rounder, Charles Harris posted a career-high 3.0 sacks as a rotational rusher in Atlanta last season.

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Harris posted three lackluster seasons with the Miami Dolphins before landing with Dan Quinn and the Atlanta Falcons in 2020. If Quinn wishes to continue his reclamation project, he could lobby to bring Harris to Dallas and find him a place in the pass-rushing rotation.