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Cowboys Visit w/ Former Dan Quinn Draft Pick Takk McKinley

The seem to have a few guiding principles in their current approach to . Two of them are financial conservatism and player familiarity, and both of those boxes are checked by Defensive End Takkarist McKinley. The former 1st-round pick was in yesterday for a visit as Dallas continues its first week of .

McKinley was the 26th-overall selection of the 2017 by the Falcons. Dan Quinn, now serving as the Cowboys’ , was Atlanta’s at the time.

Dallas drafted two spots behind the Falcons and selected another defensive end, the legendary . It’s been widely speculated since 2017 that the Cowboys would have taken McKinley at the 28th pick had Atlanta not scooped him up.

Of course, neither guy would’ve been the right pick over T.J. Watt. But I digress.

Takk has had a marginally better career so far than Taco but is the only one currently looking for work. Charlton is in camp right now with the Saints while McKinley remains unsigned, largely due to a torn Achilles suffered last December while playing for the Browns.

While Dallas’ visit with Takk was reportedly a good one, he is still considering options and visiting other teams. Whether or not his reunion with Dan Quinn is happening or not remains to be seen.

Michael Gehlken on Twitter: “Cowboys’ athletic training staff had success in 2021 with players in first year post-Achilles tear. Safeties Malik Hooker and Damontae Kazee played a combined 34 of 36 games, and Hooker re-signed on multi-year deal. As with Kazee, DC Dan Quinn coached McKinley in Atlanta. / Twitter”

Cowboys’ athletic training staff had success in 2021 with players in first year post-Achilles tear. Safeties and played a combined 34 of 36 games, and Hooker re-signed on multi-year deal. As with Kazee, DC Dan Quinn coached McKinley in Atlanta.

Michael Gehlken on Twitter: “Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he met with free-agent edge defender Takk McKinley this afternoon. “Probably ahead” of where S Malik Hooker was in his Achilles rehabilitation last year. Dan Quinn provides a “unique situation for him and for us” with their familiarity from Falcons. / Twitter”

Cowboys owner said he met with free-agent defender Takk McKinley this afternoon. “Probably ahead” of where S Malik Hooker was in his Achilles rehabilitation last year. Dan Quinn provides a “unique situation for him and for us” with their familiarity from Falcons.

Michael Gehlken on Twitter: “Following a positive visit, Cowboys won’t be signing ex-Falcons edge defender Takk McKinley at this time, two people familiar with situation said. Nothing to be read into – this was original plan. McKinley intended to take multiple visits, and he will. The Cardinals are up next. / Twitter”

Following a positive visit, Cowboys won’t be ex-Falcons edge defender Takk McKinley at this time, two people familiar with situation said. Nothing to be read into – this was original plan. McKinley intended to take multiple visits, and he will. The Cardinals are up next.

The Cowboys are still trying to figure out their DE rotation for 2022 after the departure of . They re-signed and added another Quinn-connected player in veteran , plus drafted in the 2nd Round of the last draft. Dallas also has , , and returning on their existing contracts.

If McKinley is added he will likely be competing with Fowler and Basham for one, maybe two, spots available at defensive end. Dallas could afford to go shorter at DE this year depending on how much they intend to use LB as a pass rusher.

Takk’s production dropped off in 2019 with Atlanta and led his 5th-year option not being picked up. Feeling on the outs, McKinley requested a and was eventually waived in November of the . Failied physicals with the 49ers and Bengals led to his waiver claim eventually falling to the Raiders, who signed Takk and immediately placed him on IR with a groin .

The Raiders didn’t re-sign McKinley the following and he wound up with Cleveland on a one-year deal. Takk only appeared in four games before the Achilles injury in .

Obviously, things haven’t gone as expected for the former 1st-round pick.

McKinley’s 13 in his first two seasons as a Falcon are what the Cowboys and Dan Quinn are remembering. Still just 26 years old, Takk could present an opportunity to acquire untapped talent with minimal financial investment.

What do you think?

Jess Haynie

Written by Jess Haynie

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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2 Comments

  1. It’s good that he’s further along in his achilles recovery than Hooker was, but it’s still a concern as it could still go sideways if he pushes it too hard, too quickly. His history of injuries in general is even more concerning. Add in the lack of production after his first two seasons, and I’d be surprised if he gets more than a vet minimum offer from anyone. It may come down to who offers him two years instead of just a one year prove it deal or where he thinks he has the best chance of getting enough snaps to show he deserves another, larger, deal. Having Dan Quinn as a draw may help, but in the end, he and his agent are going to go where they see the most long term benefit.

    Personally, I haven’t seen enough of him making plays to even worry one way or another. If they sign him, fine. If not, that’s fine, too. Basham is an easy target for replacement. Fowler is still not cemented into the lineup.

    Which brings us to the fact there is still a lot to be settled on the DL as a whole as to who will be where and when.
    -Gholston could end up as a backup strong side DE, a 5-tech when they go to a 3-4 look or an undersized 3-tech.
    -Armstrong can play either side DE, and may do so depending on how things shake out, They have also shown they’re not afraid to line him up inside or stunt him inside at different times.
    -The same goes for DLaw, though he’s more apt to stay on the left side.
    -Watkins is listed as a DE, but usually plays the 1 or the 3 at DT. Maybe Quinn looks to play him more as a Red Bryant type LDE this season to spell DLaw in certain situations or as a 5-tech in a 3-4 look?
    -Same goes for a bulked up Gallimore. Is he now a 1-tech? A big 3? A NT or a 5 in a 3-4 look like he started out his career as a Sooner?
    -Does Odighizuwa get some looks at 4-3 DE, 3-4 DE, or is he solely a 3-tech mainly in passing situations?
    -Where does Trysten Hill fit in? Does he even fit in?
    -Same goes for “Big Kat” (little DT) Markaviest Bryant at 6’4″, 254lbs.
    -Will Bohanna even make the team, or has he already eaten himself (360lbs) out of the league?
    -Will Ridgeway lock down the 1-tech and put a lot of these questions and ideas into doubt? Or. will his failure to do so open up all of these options?
    -How will the dreaded “I” word play into all of this?

    It’s already going to be very interesting to see how this plays out. Throw Takk in there as a possibility, and it gets even messier.

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