Despite the signings of Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe and the drafting of Neville Gallimore (3rd round), the Dallas Cowboys could still stand to add more depth at the defensive tackle position ahead of the 2020 season. Someone who makes quite a bit of sense and has a history with Head Coach Mike McCarthy is Mike Daniels, formerly of the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions.
From 2012 to 2018, Mike Daniels bolstered the Green Bay Packers defensive line under the guidance of then HC Mike McCarthy. Things changed in 2019 though. Daniels would spend the season with the Detroit Lions, while McCarthy took a nearly year-long sabbatical away from the game altogether. Fast forward to present day, and it’s Daniels who is looking for a job.
Daniels, who turns 31 today (May 5), is an eight year veteran who has 235 tackles and 30 sacks to his name, along with a Pro Bowl appearance in 2017. He may have only appeared in nine games with the Lions last season due to injuries, but I believe he still has plenty left in the tank. In fact, he still managed a respectable 70.1 grade from Pro Football Focus in his shortened 2019 season.
The Dallas Cowboys currently have Gerald McCoy (3-tech) and Dontari Poe (1-tech) penciled in as the starters on the interior their defensive line, but behind them things are far less clear. Trysten Hill – last year’s second-round pick – and Neville Gallimore will likely duke it out to become McCoy’s primary backup, but right now there’s really no one on the current roster behind Poe.
Someone who could earn the job is last years starting one-technique, Antwaun Woods, but he has yet to sign his exclusive free agent tender. If/when he does sign it though, he likely becomes Dontari Poe’s primary backup. His hesitancy to put ink to paper though could possibly result in him looking for another team to play for in 2020.
The Dallas Cowboys new coaching staff may prefer someone they’re more familiar with. Antwaun Woods was better than average over the last few seasons, however, the Cowboys aren’t going to wait forever for him to make up his mind. They might want to go ahead and shore up their DL and that’s where Mike Daniels comes in.
Mike Daniels’ addition would immediately bolster the Cowboys DT depth and give them another pass rushing threat from the interior. Pass rush is something Antwaun Woods unfortunately doesn’t offer much of, only 1.5 sacks in three years. Add it all up, and Daniels could very well be somebody the Cowboys make their next free agent addition.