Randy Gregory's time with the Dallas Cowboys was often very eventful. Including injuries and suspensions, Gregory was always a very talented player when on the field. However, through all the missed time, he has remained a valuable part of the Cowboys' defense. In 2021, he had possibly the best season of his career and had six sacks in twelve games.
Dealing with salary cap issues, it was often questioned if the Cowboys would be able to keep Gregory. However, it appeared the Cowboys had done the impossible when they signed him to a five-year deal worth 70 million dollars. However, at the last minute, Gregory backed out of the deal. Instead, he would be heading to the Denver Broncos. To make matters worse for Cowboys fans, he signed the same contract in Denver.
Clowney can be a valuable addition
If the Cowboys are looking to add a veteran pass rusher to their defense, they will have to act quickly. With Von Miller, Chandler Jones, and Za'Darius Smith all signing contracts recently, the position group has dried up rather quickly. There is a highly-touted pass rusher left however in Jadeveon Clowney.
A former number one overall pick in 2014, Clowney spent the first five seasons of his career with the Houston Texans where he had 29 sacks. A quality player in Houston, Clowney took a while to really get going. Once he did, it was the end of his rookie contract and he was traded to the Seattle Seahawks. Spending one season there, he would have just three sacks but consistently showed great run defense.
He would then have the worst season of his career in 2020 with the Tennessee Titans. Starting eight games, he recorded no sacks and was not brought back for 2021.
In the 2021 off-season, it was fair to question whether Clowney's days as an impact defender were finished. Instead, he rebounded in a big way with one of his best seasons. Playing alongside star defender Myles Garrett in Cleveland, Clowney recorded nine sacks and started all fourteen games he played in.
Why Clowney fits Dallas
While it is clear at this point that Clowney is not a top-tier pass rusher who can carry the load for a defense, he still possesses value. An impressive athlete who is an elite run defender while also possessing pass rush ability will always have a role.
His best years in the NFL have come while he accompanied an elite pass rusher like J.J. Watt or Myles Garrett. Fortunately for Dallas, they have one in DeMarcus Lawrence.
The Dallas Cowboys possess a roster that is loaded with high-end talent. While Clowney is certainly a player whose name precedes his talent at this point, he would be a massive addition to a defense that is now hurting for another pass rusher.
With the options now limited, Clowney could be the Cowboys' best chance for an impact pass rusher in free agency.