For the second night in a row, the Dallas Cowboys have broken news late into the night. On Monday evening, it was the signing of Amari Cooper to a new five-year contract worth $100 million. Tonight, the Dallas Cowboys helped solidify their defensive line after agreeing to terms with free-agent Defensive Tackle Gerald McCoy per Todd Archer of ESPN.
The Cowboys have agreed to terms with defensive lineman Gerald McCoy on a three-year deal, according to a source. Like all these deals, it’s pending a physical. McCoy started every game last season for Carolina after a nine-year run with Tampa Bay. He… https://t.co/ydMR3wPmzv
McCoy will help to alleviate the losses of Robert Quinn and Maliek Collins in free agency by providing pass rush capability from the interior. As primarily a 3-technique defensive tackle, McCoy has been a terror in his 10-year career accumulating 59.5 sacks and 86 tackles for loss with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2010-2018) and the Carolina Panthers (2019).
Though details of the contract are unknown at this point, finding a player that could provide a pass rush from the interior was a necessity for the Dallas Cowboys. Though Robert Quinn and DeMarcus Lawrence were effective off the edge last season, all too often quarterbacks were able to step up in the pocket with little issue. Even at age 31, McCoy had 22 pressures, six quarterback knockdowns, and seven tackles for loss.
Gerald McCoy's only played fewer than 13 games once in his career and the only time he failed to record at least five sacks in a season was in 2011 when he played just six games. As Todd Archer points out, McCoy started every game last season for the Carolina Panthers and has played more than 14 games a season in each of the last five. He's been as consistent a player as you'll find at the defensive tackle position and has long been considered in the top tier at the position.
With McCoy, Tyron Crawford, and Trysten Hill, the Cowboys have a solid rotation of players that can help them at 3-technique in four-man fronts or as a 5-technique (3-4 defensive end) in three-man fronts. His leadership should provide a huge boost to a team that lost Jeff Heath, Robert Quinn, Byron Jones, and Maliek Collins in free agency over the last couple of days.
The Cowboys still have some work to do to solidify a defense that has now lost four defensive starters in the last two days but this is a start. The free-agent class is loaded at defensive tackle, safety, and there are some interesting cornerback names that the Cowboys could pursue as free agency officially opens tomorrow afternoon.