Despite only playing in nine games for the Dallas Cowboys last year, veteran Defensive End Michael Bennett still made an impact. Even though Bennett turns 35 in November, would the Cowboys be wise to re-sign the free agent this offseason?
Bennett was acquired via trade from the Patriots last October. The move came after Dallas lost Tyrone Crawford to injury and allowed Michael to occupy the same space on the roster as a versatile defensive lineman, and also the locker room as a veteran leader.
While some were hesitant to see any member of the Bennett family back in Dallas but Michael proved to be a good addition. His four sacks tied him for third on the entire defense in 2019, even though he only played for about half the season and in a reserve role.
Bennett was just as valuable off the field, too. With none of the Cowboys’ star players ever even playing in the NFC Championship game, Michael could speak with Super Bowl credibility and was a voice who wasn’t beholden to Jason Garrett.
Garrett is of course gone in 2020, and along with new Head Coach Mike McCarthy came almost a complete overhaul of the coaching staff. Many chances could also be coming on the roster as Dallas has around 30 free agents this offseason.
Michael Bennett is among them, and the defensive line has more than its fair share with him, Robert Quinn, Maliek Collins, Kerry Hyder, and Christian Covington all unrestricted.
Given that he turns 35 this season Bennett probably won’t find any lucrative deals in free agency. But with how he performed last year for Dallas, and if the new coaching staff sees value in him, Michael might be able to stick around on a modest contract.
Bennett counted $2.6 million against the 2019 salary cap. The number would probably have to stay around that range, no more than $4-$5 million, for the relationship to continue.
The Cowboys may not even be interested. After all, picking up Michael last year was a band-aid move to replace Crawford, and it sounds like Tyrone may be returning in 2020 if he agrees to a reduced salary.
But if Dallas wants some additional depth on the defensive line then they could do worse than Michael Bennett. He proved last year that he can still bring it on the field despite his age, and he brings some rare championship experience to this roster.