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Tarell Basham Named Cowboys’ “Worst” 2021 Free Agent Signing

The dust is beginning to settle from yet another wild NFL free agency period, and with that comes free agency grades. The time where we all discuss and rate each team’s offseason moves, without seeing who they draft or knowing how the players will actually play come the Fall.

It’s not all that fair, but hey it can be fun, no?

Bleacher Report recently released an article detailing each NFL team’s “worst” free agent signing of 2021. Defensive lineman Tarell Basham earned these dubious honors for the Dallas Cowboys.

“Basham, a four-year veteran who has just 7.5 sacks during his career, feels like a bit of a settle for the ‘Boys. While there is still undeniable upside in signing the 27-year-old to a two-year, $5.5 million contract, he isn’t the big-time playmaker who could push Dallas to the next level.”

They aren’t wrong here. Basham isn’t a big time pass rusher that can play opposite DeMarcus Lawrence, and he’s not going to be a double digit sack candidate. He doesn’t even bring the potential pass rush upside of someone like Robert Quinn did a couple years back.

But that’s fine. That’s not why he was brought to the Cowboys.

What Basham is, is a high motor defensive linemen that plays with a quick first step and a whole lot of energy. He is a solid rotation piece on a defensive line that will (hopefully) rely upon Lawrence and Randy Gregory to be the “war daddy” pass rushers.

Do the Cowboys still have holes on defense? Without question. But Tarell Basham is way closer to the solution to some defensive line depth questions than he is another problem across their front seven. Admittedly I am a little more optimistic on Basham’s potential as a rotational piece, but I don’t think this is a miss by the front office at all.

I wouldn’t hold not being a top tier pass rusher against Basham, especially when there’s no expectation for him to be that guy.

What do you think?

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Kevin Brady

Written by Kevin Brady

Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.

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  1. The best thing he can do for the Cowboys defense is if he does have the high motor they proclaim is that he plays hard and it embarrasses the ones that don’t and they actually play hard all the time a novel idea ugh but it may happen

  2. He could possibly be a 4-3 outside linebacker. I really thought that is what Jalen Jelks was going to get converted into. We need to convert him. We need linebackers. Just a thought….

  3. Good article and analysis Kevin. Just trying to get a base hit, not swinging for the fences at the top of the first.

    IF we could get 6 guys giving us 5 sacks we would be in great shape, depth wise and cap wise.

  4. I agree, I don’t think he’s the worst free agent signing for us by far, he’s probably the 2nd or 3rd best!! He was really good in college, and the reason for that is cause he played in a 4 man front with his hands in the dirt…. And when he played for the jets he got put in a 3 man front standing up!! And there’s a big difference in rushing the passer from the edge standing up and with your hands in the dirt!! I think he’ll be a lot better with us since he’ll be able to get back to putting his hands in the dirt!! In my opinion, I think our worst signing so far is DT Carlos Watkins…. I don’t think anybody has ever heard of him before we signed him!! But who knows, I guess the only way to know for sure is to wait until game time!!

  5. Jalen Jelks is garbage why is there even talk of him? Let’s talk about Ben Dinucci…… come on man converting a de that was never even in the starter conversation to a more mobile position that requires much more running sideline to sideline. Jelks is a bench warmer for the practice team water boy. Let’s talk about something that COULD happen, Atlanta currently has the number 4 pick their selection is the one I worry about the most, I hope they go qb but with our luck they draft surtain II knowing that’s who Quinn is targeting and they run the same defense as us now. The only offensive player I want to see drafted is Pitts or Sewell, if surtain is gone get parsons trade up in the second for moerig. Offensive Tackle in the 3rd, DT in the 3rd or 4th and rounds 5,6,7; to pick up baron browning and others to fill out the roster, ok browning will probably be gone by the 2nd or 3rd but just saying. McCarthy needs to stop trying to incorporate 3-4 defense into our 4-3 team f he keeps trying to use the 3-4 expect another dismal defense I see the writing on the wall with McCarthy going to pro days featuring lb’s as much as cb’s zavien Collins is one McCarthy is scouting and I hope he isn’t wasting a day 2 pick on a lb, oh yeah and resign Aldon smith dummies he is a run stopper and has added tremendous bulk and power a step up from his past playing days, even if his pass rush has dropped off we got ran all over last year, contain the run and let our defense see more long 3rd downs. Quinn then Smith odds are a third swing and hit are unlikely retain smith the only lineman to hustle, stop talking of trading Gallup he is a wr1, trade D-Law who has regressed since signing his contract, get 2 firsts and a third or a starter in the secondary or LB with two firsts and unload 100,000,000 mistakes.

  6. Wake up! Our 4-3 defense is changing to a 3-4, read the writing on the wall. Dallas’s big board was Pitts #1 talent #2 Patrick Surtain II, #3 Horn, #4 Parsons. We got the fourth highest rated prospect, 3rd on defense who could be dpoy. Funny thing was Horn, Surtain, and Parsons all wanted to go to Dallas, Horn and Parsons are both caught on tape saying Dallas needs to come get me. Bummed we didn’t get a corner, but Parsons was the best pick, McCarthy was not the best coach out there. I will be glad when he is gone and our defense is back to normal. We could be wasting years of players prime talent by hiring a coach who wants to make to many changes to a team who was already playoff ready. I believe had 2020 and the pandemic not resulted in so many injuries largely due to poor off season conditioning and Dak doesn’t go down Parsons wouldn’t be on our team we would be picking in the late 20’s. Be happy, we got a stud, PLAYMAKER, this teams Michael Irvin if you will.

  7. Mike Thaxton are you even a Cowboys fan? Jaylon Smith is on contract until 2026 he was a second round pick so only got a four year contract, then we gave him another contract and is under contract until 2026. We didn’t pick up Leighton’s fifth year option that would have cost 9 million. They are giving up on LVE to early. So much for doing right by him. Now we know why your comment is one sentence and factually incorrect. Jets fan has your name all over it.

  8. I live and die by the 4-3, but if my defense had to be 3-4 it would look like this D-Law, Randy Gregory on the ends with basham and company in the rotation, big boy Bohanna directly over center clogging the middle, then honestly probably the best LB unit in the NFL with these four linebackers, Parsons, Jaylon Smith, Leighton Van dear esch, Jabril Cox, CB Diggs, Kelvin Joseph, Anthony Brown, outside cb’s and nickel and Jourdon Lewis slot cb,I think Keanu Neal plays more safety than LB, it’s smoke and mirrors more ways to disguise our cover 3 haha. Damonte Kazee,Jaylon Kearse FS/SS Donovan Wilson, three safeties who go and get the ball. Kazee is 35, Kearse is 32, Deante Burton cb is 33, Maurice Canady cb is 31, at least Keanu Neal is only 27, heck even c.j. Goodwin is 29. So to all the guys asking when Dallas is going to sign a veteran cb, there is plenty of vets in the secondary, it’s time to get younger like 2017 when we drafted, Chido, Lewis, Woods. 2018 probably was my favorite draft haul because I am a huge LVE fan as well as a fan of Gallup from when I lived in englewood Colorado during the time Gallup played for Colorado state. My old boss had season tickets to penn state as well as 6th row center court season tickets to the nuggets. I got to see a lot of Mello and birdman back then. 🙂 Good Times

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