For many Cowboys fans, Gerald McCoy’s signing felt a year overdue. As a free agent in 2019, Cowboys Nation was clamoring for the team to go after the veteran defensive tackle.
Regardless, the move was met with tons of fanfare when it was announced on Tuesday night, with fans and media alike finding reasons to praise this out of character move from America’s Team.
If you haven’t heard – Dallas has signed defensive tackle Gerald McCoy to a three-year deal, replacing the departed Maliek Collins with a much more prominent veteran name.
But McCoy is not only an improvement over the Cowboys’ 2019 three-techniques in name. He is on the field as well.
Gerald McCoy has been the epitome of consistency as an interior pass rusher. McCoy has recorded at least 5 sacks in each of the past 8 seasons, including a career high 9.5 back in 2013. He’s also a quarterback’s worst nightmare when it comes to pressures, totaling 42 of these in 2019 according to Pro Football Focus.
Per @DavidMooreDMN Gerald McCoy is expected to join the Dallas Cowboys McCoy: 42 total pressures in 2019 14th among IDL
McCoy should also be praised for his durability. Even during a lost Panthers season in 2019, the 31 year old played and started in all 16 games. In fact, he hasn’t started less than 14 games since the 2014 season. Durability can help a veteran contract age much more gracefully, of course.
The six time Pro Bowler may be past his prime when it comes to his first step quickness, but his football IQ and technique are still among some of the best in the league. He also remains a formidable defender against the run, giving the Cowboys someone who can do both from that three-technique spot.
As much as I loved Maliek Collins, his tendency to over-pursue or get overpowered by run blocking double teams left the Cowboys run defense vulnerable too often. McCoy shouldn’t have those problems.
McCoy doesn’t have the same quicks he used to, but he has the well-tuned hands to still make an impact as a pass rusher. Strong club to be the LG before fork-lifting the LT’s elbow to split the double and pressure Drew Brees. #Cowboys https://t.co/pJaoU44csQ
McCoy’s signing fills an immediate need, takes defensive tackle out of a the “must have” lists in the early rounds of the 2020 draft, and allows Trysten Hill more time to develop rather than be forced into a starting role he doesn’t seem ready for.
Oh, and McCoy should still be a productive pass rusher that offenses need to account for. That’s pretty important, too.
A pass rushing room including McCoy, DeMarcus Lawrence, Randy Gregory, Tyrone Crawford, Dorance Armstrong, and Antwaun Woods is not a bad one whatsoever.
But it certainly could use some more help on the interior. Keep an eye out for names like Damon Harrison over the next few days.