Two-time Pro Bowler falls into Cowboys lap; Will they sign him?

Kawann Short, Carolina Panthers (Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Kawann Short, Carolina Panthers (Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

A Pro Bowler at a position of need magically becomes a free agent for the Dallas Cowboys

Defensive linemen are a premium in today’s NFL. The Dallas Cowboys addressed their line last offseason by drafting and signing five players. Unfortunately for them, it didn’t work out as planned.

Among the linemen signed in free agency were Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe, both from the Carolina Panthers. Now, they may see themselves signing another former Panther.

Carolina recently released Kawann Short, who was the team’s top defensive lineman for some time. That comes after two injury-plagued seasons in which he played in only five games.

Short’s 2019 and 2020 seasons were cut short due to shoulder injuries. Both years, he needed surgery. Having back-to-back seasons with the same season-ending injury is not a good look for his durability.

Fitting in with the Dallas Cowboys

Health is a concern, but it should lower Short’s value. The injury history opens the opportunity to sign the two-time Pro Bowler to a cheap, short-term contract. That’s important, considering the team won’t have much cap space after addressing their quarterback situation.

The Dallas Cowboys can implement clauses protecting the team financially if the shoulder issues come up again. They used that in their contract with McCoy, and it saved the team a lot of money.

Before the brutal injuries, the 32-year-old was one of the best run-stopping linemen in the NFL. He has two seasons of 50+ tackles and three seasons of 10+ tackles for a loss of yards.

The Dallas Cowboys could use a healthy Kawann Short after the team was one of the worst in defending the run this past season. They gave up the third-most yards per run and the second-most rushing first downs.

Of course, Short can’t help out the team if he suffers another injury. That is why putting in the injury waiver is a must to bring the interior lineman to Dallas.

He would instantly become a starter on a team that desperately needs help with what he succeeds at doing. Health is an important aspect to keep in mind, but let’s be optimistic and hope it is not a problem.

I’m looking at it like this. The Dallas Cowboys can sign Short to a short-term contract with the injury waiver in place. If he suffers an injury again, then Dallas is not in a vulnerable position. If an injury does not come up, then Dallas has a reputable run stuffer.

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While Kawann Short is only one player, a defensive tackle that can rack up 40+ tackles is a desperate need for the team. That key piece would help the Dallas Cowboys in becoming a Super Bowl contender once again.