Thursday, May 5, 2022

Cowboys and Ex-Vikings 4-Time Pro Bowl LB Are “Perfect” Free Agency Match

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Now that the NFL draft is behind them, the Dallas Cowboys can focus on the specifics when it comes to free agency and roster building.

There is still a wealth of quality NFL talent in free agency, as some veteran players have played the long game and waited for the NFL draft to end. Now that May has arrived, NFL teams will likely start to move.

In terms of where Dallas should address and who might pass, adding it to the linebacker group feels like a smart idea. The team have signed Leighton Vander Esch and have the likes of Micah Parsons and Jabril Cox, but the depth of the position is lacking and Parsons is at his best when he’s competing in multiple positions, not just LB.

Enter Anthony Barr. Barr became a household name in the 2010s as a star defender for the Minnesota Vikings. The 30-year-old linebacker still doesn’t know where he’s playing next year.

Barr could be available at an affordable price after recent injuries, and the former UCLA star would be a tremendous support for the Cowboys if they can strike a deal.

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After being drafted ninth overall in the 2014 NFL draft, Barr made an instant impression in his rookie year with 70 total tackles, four sacks, two forced fumbles and a touchdown.

What came next was the first phase of Barr’s career with the Vikings. Barr reached the Pro Bowl in four straight seasons from 2015-2018. PFR shows the now 30-year-old linebacker totaled 9.5 sacks, forced five fumbles and hit 19 passes.

After another productive season in 2019 but with no honors, Barr ripped his two breast games into 2020 and missed most of the year. It seems an injury bug is plaguing Barr as he then injured his knee in 2021 and missed six of 17 games.

He did, however, bring down three interceptions in 11 games and added 2.5 sacks during that time. That production alone shows why Barr seems a perfect fit as a complement to the linebacker on the weak side: he can bring down the passer, but he can also take cover.

Barr has red flags in the form of injuries, but if that cuts his costs, it could be worth the risk for the Cowboys. Dallas should be looking to improve everywhere, and Barr would help the linebackers significantly.

First and foremost, Spotrac states that the Cowboys currently have $13.4 million in cap rank. A large chunk of that will be spent signing Dallas’ pick in the 2022 NFL draft as well as the UDFA class.

That would mean the Cowboys would have to sign Barr for around $5-6 million a year. In 2021, Barr re-signed to a one-year deal with the Vikings and was paid $10 million, according to Over the Cap.

If that’s Barr’s number again, Dallas won’t be able to get his hands on him. The reason for optimism is that Barr still doesn’t have a team, which implies there’s some sort of mismatch between the salary he’s charging and what teams are offering.

There aren’t any verified accounts of where Barr might be going or who’s interested, so it’s all just speculation. But if the timing and price is right, the cowboys should look alive.

There aren’t any verified accounts of where Barr might be going or who’s interested, so it’s all just speculation. But if the timing and price is right, the cowboys should look alive.

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