One of the biggest signings by the Dallas Cowboys in 2020 free agency was veteran Defensive Tackle Gerald McCoy. But while a major injury at the start of training camp ended McCoy’s season and led to his release, recent comments from Stephen Jones indicate that Gerald may still be part of the Cowboys’ plans for 2021.
McCoy was signed to a three-year contract which included an injury clause against a known problem with his quadriceps. Sure enough, Gerald’s quad ruptured during the first padded practice of Dallas’ 2020 camp.
The Cowboys exercised their right to terminate McCoy’s deal and save significant money on the salary cap. Despite this unfortunate situation, there was talk back in August of “mutual interest” between the two parties in Gerald returning to Dallas next season.
Yesterday in a radio interview, Cowboys executive Stephen Jones made a statement that seems to indicate Dallas is still interested in bringing Gerald McCoy back.
Stephen Jones on @1053thefan on 2021 Cowboys: “You talk about La’el [Collins], Tyron [Smith]. You talk about our QB. You talk about 2 of our better DTs in Trysten [Hill] and [Gerald] McCoy. There’s some opp. out there that are gonna return to us that should be a big help to us.”
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) January 1, 2021
Jones included McCoy with players like Tyron Smith, La’el Collins, and Trysten Hill who are all under contract for 2021. Along with Dak Prescott, he spoke of all of these players as if their return next season was an expectation rather than a possibility.
The Cowboys have two promising young defensive tackles in Hill and Neville Gallimore. But as we’ve seen this year, having at least one or two more you can count on is never a bad thing.
Dallas had hoped in McCoy and fellow veteran Dontari Poe to bring a big upgrade to the middle of their defensive line. But between McCoy’s injury and Poe’s lacking performance they got almost nothing out of those free-agent signings.
Antwaun Woods, who has been the most reliable DT in Dallas for the last few years, should be back next year as a restricted free agent. If the Cowboys do re-sign Gerald McCoy then that would give them a solid quartet of reliable, experienced depth and then the youthful upside of Hill and Gallimore.
Having a player like McCoy around, with six Pro Bowls and multiple All-Pro selections to his name, to help groom the young DTs would be an exceptional bonus.
Gerald will turn 33 this February and will now be coming off a major leg injury if he does get a new deal from Dallas. Expectations for what he can bring to the table in 2021 should be measured, but McCoy could still be an asset as the Cowboys work on improving their defense.