4. Dante Fowler, Jr., EDGE
Dallas has loved bringing players in on affordable one-year deals. Just about any veteran who was a first-round pick at some point, had a serious injury, or just had a few rough seasons can join the Cowboys for around the veteran minimum. Then, they can show they’re healthy — or that they still have something in the tank — just in time to make more money elsewhere.
One example of this came when they added Robert Quinn back in 2019. Quinn had a forgettable season in Miami and joined Dallas for just one season before cashing in with the Chicago Bears. Last year, they added Damontae Kazee and Malik Hooker who were coming off serious injuries, and the Cowboys ended up actually keeping Hooker, which is a rarity.
This year, they’re at it again as they added Dante Fowler Jr. after losing Randy Gregory in free agency. Gregory was irate over some language in his contract, so he packed his bags and signed a nearly identical deal with the Broncos.
As for Fowler, he’s a former first-round pick who had 11.5 sacks in 2019 with the Rams but just 7.5 the past two seasons with the Falcons.
In Dallas, he’s going to be an insurance policy. They added Sam Williams in the draft and re-signed Dorance Armstrong. There’s also second-year player Chauncey Golston. All of these guys can play opposite DeMarcus Lawrence.
Fowler can start if any of them aren’t up to the task but he will either provide just enough for Dallas to move on in 2023 or do well enough to price himself out. There will be no in-between.