Cowboys miss out on cheap defensive end option in free agency
Another potentially impactful veteran free agent is no longer an option for the Dallas Cowboys. This time it’s veteran defensive end Calais Campbell. In a previous article, we mentioned that Campbell could be a good signing for the Cowboys in order to add some edge-rushing depth to the roster after the loss of Randy Gregory.
While he certainly isn’t young (for an NFL player), the 35-year-old is a 6x Pro Bowler with many years of pro experience. As far as the Cowboys go, many fans deemed that the reason the front office didn’t sign guys like Bobby Wagner or Von Miller was that they were too expensive for their age. That argument cannot be made here. Campbell signed a two-year extension with the Baltimore Ravens for $12.5 million.
Ahead of the free agency period, Dallas was $21 million in the red in terms of cap space. Now, after cuts and departures, the Cowboys have over $15 million to spend. That money certainly could’ve been spent on securing an edge rusher to help fill the void left by Gregory. Not only would this have given the Cowboys fewer positional needs in the draft, but it would’ve been in line with the bargain bin mentality that Stephen and Jerry Jones have.
Should the Dallas Cowboys have signed free agent DE Calais Campbell if he was so affordable?
Campbell offers 14 years of NFL experience. He is also one of only four NFL defenders since 2000 to have over 700 tackles and 85 sacks. His lengthy career has him ranking 10th overall in sacks and 12th overall in tackles among all active players.
After watching veteran Rams players like Andrew Whitworth and Von Miller celebrate the Super Bowl, the Raven decided he wanted to suit back up for a shot at his first-ever ring. Injuries can be an issue for the All-2010s team member, but he is still playing at a high level. In fact, Pro Football Focus gave him the highest grade of all defensive players on the Ravens last year. That is a pretty impressive feat considering Baltimore had one of the best run defenses last year.
Campbell was one of the top free agents left before re-signing with Baltimore. At this point, the Cowboys are running out of people to add. We know the Joneses want to wait until people’s desired salaries go lower and lower, but how long can they really wait? They have positional needs and they want affordable people. Campbell seemed to fit both of those categories.