1. Bobby Okereke, LB
It didn’t seem like a huge move at the time but the Cowboys were able to get Leighton Vander Esch to return on a one-year deal for 2022. They elected not to pick up the fifth year on his rookie deal so it was a bit of a surprise he returned, but it proved to be the right move.
LVE looked like the player he was during his sensational rookie campaign in 2018. He was making plays in the running game and against the pass as well. With that being the case, he might have more suitors this offseason as he again hits free agency. If so, Dallas will need to consider going in a different direction.
One player they should have their eyes on is Bobby Okereke who spent the past four seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. A third-round pick out of Stanford in 2019, Okereke has 420 tackles, three picks, and four forced fumbles so far in his career.
He’s solid in pass coverage but where he really shines is in run defense, and the Cowboys can use some help in that department, especially if they lost Vander Esch.
Another benefit to adding Okereke is that it would allow them to move Micah Parsons around more freely. For the past two seasons, Parsons has led Dallas in sacks, and having Vander Esch is what allowed them to put Parsons on the line and blitz when he was at linebacker.
Okereke won’t be cheap, but Dallas saw when playing Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw in their loss to San Francisco how tough it can be to stop two versatile linebackers from ruining a game plan.