Saturday, August 6, 2022

Cowboys sign 4-time Pro Bowl linebackers: report

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The Dallas Cowboys sign one of the most notable free agents out there.

According to a report by NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo On Wednesday, August 3, the Cowboys sign four-time Pro Bowl linebacker Anthony Barr.

“Cowboys sign former Vikings LB Anthony Barr, a source says,” Garafolo said.

Barr, 30, has been linked with the Cowboys for weeks, with Sports Illustrated’s Mike Fisher reporting back in July that a potential signing of the veteran linebacker was “still on the table.” Fisher was actually referencing the idea that Barr could serve as a complement to Rookie of the Year linebacker Micah Parsons.

“Here at The Star, sources have long confirmed our interest in Barr and think Barr qualifies as a Micah helper or even ‘Micah Lite.’ Linebacker on the weak side. Rush the passers-by. Drop for cover. veteran presence. So yes, the Cowboys are aware of that,” Fisher said on July 6.

The veteran linebacker had spent all of his eight seasons with the Minnesota Vikings and had four consecutive Pro Bowl berths between 2015 and 2018. While he may not be viewed as the star he was early in his career, Barr’s performance remains at a solid level. Barr had 72 tackles and a career-high three interceptions last season.

According to Pro Football Focus, Barr posted a 62.9 defensive grade and a 72.3 pass rushing grade last season. At his peak in the 2015 season, Barr had a 90.1 defensive grade and a 90.8 pass rushing grade.

In comparison, every Cowboys linebacker — with the exception of Parsons — has lower defensive and pass-rushing scores than Barr last season.

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Barr’s signing potentially means Dallas could bench Leighton Vander Esch, with Barr, Parsons and Jabril Cox as potential starting linebackers.

Vander Esch has been the starting linebacker since being drafted in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft. The 26-year-old has started 46 of his 52 appearances with the Cowboys, playing strongside and middle linebacker. The former Pro Bowler signed a one-year deal with the Cowboys in the offseason.

It’s worth noting that Vander Esch is only $2 million due this season and has a $1,750 million dead cap hit. In other words, he could be a potential cap victim if Dallas decides to pick a younger linebacker.

While the Cowboys certainly bolstered their depth at linebacker with the signing of Barr, they could still capitalize on the upgrade at wide receiver.

After James Washington’s injury – he will be out for 6 to 10 weeks due to a Jones fracture – Dallas has a viable veteran recipient on the list in CeeDee Lamb.

As the Cowboys prepare for a Week 1 showdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they will do so without Michael Gallup. Dallas’ #2 receiver is eexpected to be canceled at the start of the season due to his recovery from a cruciate ligament rupture.

Lamb says he’s not against the idea of ​​the team adding an experienced receiver – but he’s also confident his younger teammates will step up.

“I mean, I’m not opposed to having another vet here,” Lamb told reporters Tuesday, Aug. 2. “I’m never against having help, but I like my young people here now. I want to see what they can do in the heat of the moment, and then we got Tampa in September. There’s only one way to find out.”

“The door is open to opportunity,” Lamb continued. “I feel like the younger guys are taking this opportunity and trying to do something.”

Lamb says he’s not against the idea of ​​the team adding an experienced receiver – but he’s also confident his younger teammates will step up.

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