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Clay Matthews Could Provide Valuable Insurance for the Cowboys at LB

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.


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Matthew Lenix

Written by Matthew Lenix

I write dope stuff about the Dallas Cowboys and what not.


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  1. Would love to see matthews with a star on his helmet. Especially with the durability issues of Sean Lee and LVE.

  2. Really not a fan of old players that are hanging on to past accomplishments. Not only is durability an issue so is the price and the ego. Will he play special teams, will he be willing to sit behind younger players and be a team guy? He is long past his best days and was released for good reason. Look for someone younger and better. Or just develop your own.

  3. I think he’s a good player. Probably has a little more in the tank than Whitten at this point in their careers. I’m just not sold on him in a base 4-3 defense when most of his accomplishments were in the 3-4. Still, he’s had one neck of a career.

  4. Hey Manuel, you are correct on many levels. But the one thing Clay can do is provide insurance if our LB group takes a loss. For that reason alone i would bring him in. And he can still lay the wood which made in famous and instincts to boot.

  5. Matthews is a wore out no good for anything on the cowboys. I’d rather have Taco Charlton. He is finished. Matthews is a poor excuse of a linebacker. Maybe he could be a special teamer for the Dolphins.

    • Good Grief! NO.
      What is it with the infatuation of old GB players all the sudden. Every former GB player we should now consider because MMC is the head coach?

      Stop we don’t need to add progress stoppers.

      We have one of the better collegiate and pro personnel guys in Will McClay, lets see if the guys we pick up in “value” positions can actually provide some LONG term value.

      Also, Mike Nolan has no ties to Green Bay or their players per se’. How about looking at some guys that Nolan has coached that are looking for work to see if there is something under one of those rocks.

  6. Manuel,
    I can understand your reasoning about Clay Mathews, but, I think if you put that aside he is still worthy of major consideration. He may have lost a step in his old age! However, I would rather have him on our team than anybody else’s. He still has a passion to play ball, and I for one would like to see him in a Cowboys jersey.

  7. Are you willing to bring him in and sacrifice a younger player that you can develop at a cheaper price. We already have two players at DT projected to start at 30 something. Veterans cost more and are injured more often. If I remember correctly Poe finished last season on IR. You end up playing younger players anyway who could have gotten important reps during practice and the off season. Younger faster and durable. In 1992 the Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys were the youngest team in the NFL. Not an opinion. Facts.

    • I’m not shy about taking aging veterans when you have a hole to fill. Besides his broken jaw, the article states he’s been fairly healthy throughout his career, unlike LVE and Sean Lee.

  8. I’d bring him in only if 1. Randy Gregory and Aldon Smith can’t be reinstated, 2. He’s still available, and most importantly 3. He isn’t blocking any young guy’s development. Essentially if all the guys on our current roster don’t cut it then sure because by then both parties will be desperate. We’d need help and he’d want to play and take a lower salary.

  9. When all said and done Mathews has a wealth of experience to bring to the Cowboys, on a one year deal to cover for Sean Lee and LVE who have issues would seem a sensible move. Who knows he may want to stay on and help out coaching future linebackers.

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