Every team in the NFL knows by now that when they play the Dallas Cowboys the league’s most dominant pass rush comes with them. They currently lead all teams with 42, and now, that particular element just got even more firepower.
A week ago, the Cowboys signed edge rusher Takk McKinley, a former first-round pick of the Atlanta Falcons in 2017, to their practice squad. As of Wednesday, McKinley has been added to the active roster for the Cowboys showdown on Thanksgiving versus the New York Giants.
The Cowboys calling up McKinley makes sense with their situation on the defensive front. Defensive tackle Jonathan Hankins and defensive end Tarell Basham are doubtful as they both are battling an illness. Edge rusher Dante Fowler is dealing with an illness as well, but he’s been listed as questionable.
McKinley has strong ties to the Cowboys. He was teammates with the aforementioned Fowler in 2020 with the Atlanta Falcons, the last season that Cowboys’ defensive coordinator Dan Quinn was the head coach there. Quinn was also a big reason that the Cowboys had a tryout with McKinley back in July, although nothing materialized.
The Cowboys have been fond of McKinley long before 2022. During the 2017 NFL draft, the Cowboys had significant interest in taking McKinley with the 28th overall pick, but Quinn brought him to the Falcons two picks prior.
During his first seasons with the Falcons, McKinley showed flashes of the guy who was so sought after coming out of UCLA. He logged 16.5 sacks and 38 quarterback hits over that span. However, a shoulder injury led to his last days with the Falcons as he later requested a trade. McKinley spent time with the Las Vegas Raiders, Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans, and Los Angeles Rams after his release.
Dallas feeds off of its pass rush, and McKinley adds another link in the chain to feast on Turkey Day.
Feature image via Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports