The defensive side of the football has gone under a complete overhaul in regards to the Dallas Cowboys this offseason. Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe, and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix were added in free agency. Trevon Diggs, Reggie Robinson, Neville Gallimore, and Bradlee Anae joined the roster via the NFL Draft.
However, even though those moves fill holes on the defensive line and the secondary, the linebacker position could still use some insurance. Free-agent Clay Matthews is still on the market and could be another bullet in the chamber for this revamped defensive unit.
Matthews racked up quite the resume during his days with the Green Bay Packers (2009-2018) while playing for new Cowboys Head Coach Mike McCarthy. In three of his first four seasons, he has double-digit sacks (42.5 total). He was named to the Pro Bowl six times (2009-2012, 2014, 2015) and an All-Pro there times (2010, 2012, 2014). Getting to the quarterback is something he did at a very high rate with 83.5 sacks over that span.
Although he only played one season for the Los Angeles Rams in 2019 it was still pretty productive. He produced eight sacks in 13 games (missed three with a broken jaw). That’s the most sacks Matthews has had since his 11 in 2014 which was his last Pro Bowl/All-Pro season.
Over his 11-year career, Matthews has amassed 519 tackles, 91.5 sacks, six interceptions, 43 passes defended, 17 forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, and three defensive touchdowns. Also, his durability has been solid playing in 156 out of a possible 176 games and logging 150 starts.
At 33 years old (34 by the start of the season) Matthews’s price tag won’t be that high, and as everyone knows, the Cowboys are always looking for cost-efficient free agents. Also, with Leighton Vander Esch coming off a neck injury he would give the Cowboys good value at the position just in case of another setback.
Matthews is best in a 3-4 scheme as an outside linebacker, and even though the Cowboys will use the 4-3 as their base, they’ll run a hybrid scheme with different looks to keep offenses off balance.
Only time will tell if the Cowboys have any interest in Matthews but if they want to add another cheap defender he’s sitting there for the taking.