The Dallas Cowboys did not select a defensive tackle last weekend in the 2018 NFL Draft, which was considered one of their biggest needs going in. Today, former Cowboy Terrell McClain was released by the Washington Redskins. Could Dallas reunite with the veteran free agent?
The Redskins have cut defensive lineman Terrell McClain, per source. The Redskins signed him last offseason, but just drafted two linemen this past weekend: Da’Ron Payne in the first and Tim Settle in the fifth. McClain had three years left on his… https://t.co/X6xswSzuhh
Terrell McClain being released shows how much fit matters in the NFL. Was a perfect fit for DAL but didn’t fit what WAS did at all.
McClain started 15 games for Dallas in 2016 as the “1-technique” defensive tackle and performed very well. The Cowboys allowed the fewest rushing yards in the NFL that season.
Terrell turned that season into a four-year, $21 million contract with Washington last season, which was more than the cap-strapped Cowboys could afford to pay to keep him.
But the Skins tried use Terrell as a 3-4 defensive end and not the 4-3 DT that he played in Dallas. His performance suffered as a result, and now he’s back in free agency.
In McClain’s absence last year, Dallas used several different players in the 1-tech role.
Maliek Collins moved over for most of the year and ended up not being the same player as his standout rookie season, when he was playing as the 3-tech with McClain by his side. Young prospects like Richard Ash and Brian Price also played the position at times, but never with Terrell’s consistency.
With Terrell McClain turning 30 in July, Dallas might decide it’s better to keep developing their youth. But there’s no guarantee that any of them could play on his level.
Of course, there’s also nothing that says McClain is still the same guy. He’s two years older and maybe not as motivated after getting a nice payday from Washington.
Dallas had opportunities to take a 1-tech in the draft and didn’t, so they may feel better about their current talent than we realize. But if not, a reunion with Terrell McClain could make a lot of sense.