Slow start to free agency? Not so much. The Dallas Cowboys have been busy adding several players on the open market over the past few days. They signed Brent Urban and Tarell Basham to help the Cowboy's defensive line and also snagged former Atlanta Falcons Safety Keanu Neal on a one-year deal on Saturday.
The Cowboys are executing their offseason plan nicely, but on Friday, one of the best defensive tackles over the last decade became available. The Cincinnati Bengals released Geno Atkins after 11 seasons with the team.
Bengals releasing DT Geno Atkins. pic.twitter.com/AoGySFqiR3
— NFL (@NFL) March 19, 2021
Atkins was a fourth-round pick out of Georgia in the 2010 NFL draft and has vastly outperformed where he was picked. He's amassed 75.5 sacks during his career (three seasons of double-digit sacks), been named an All-Pro four times, made eight Pro Bowls, and was selected to the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team.
Not only can Atkins rush the passer but he can provide support against the run as a 1-technique, and seeing as the Cowboys were 31st in that area last season, it makes him an intriguing option. Also, he's coming off of a shoulder injury that cost him 8 games so he would be a cost-effective add as well.
The time Atkins missed last season shouldn't concern anyone too much considering he played in all 16 games in nine of his first 10 seasons so his availability has been very good. Combining him with veteran Antwaun Woods, Neville Gallimore, and Trysten Hill would give the Cowboys something to work with on the interior of their defensive line, and wouldn't stop them from adding to the position in the NFL draft.
There's no telling if the Cowboys would even entertain the thought of Atkins. However, considering his experience, ability, and the small number of dollars it will more than likely take to sign him it should be something the Cowboys deliberate over.