The 2022 free agency market has been a frustrating time for Dallas Cowboys fans. With the front office (continuing to) stick by their philosophy to find cheap value vets as opposed to exploring bigger options.
Even worse with the trading of Amari Cooper, release of La’el Collins without compensation and the Randy Gregory debacle. To say it’s stressful would be an understatement.
There was no way the Dallas Cowboys were going to lose another valued free agent with the extension of Dorance Armstrong and create a deeper hole.
Undoubtedly the front office is feeling the pressure from the frustration on the outside looking in. Well now, maybe some of that pressure can wain a bit. To everyone’s surprise, the Dallas Cowboys have now signed not one, but two outside free agents: WR James Washington and DE Dante Fowler.
The Cowboys have agreed to a deal with Dante Fowler, per sources. Reunites with Dan Quinn, who signed him in Atlanta in 2020. Former No 3 overall pick in 2016 with Jacksonville, he has 35 sacks for his career.— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) March 18, 2022
It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to see these players sign with the Cowboys. Not only are both positions of heavy need, but have ties. Both have been heavily predicted to do so and now these predictions have come to fruition.
James Washington to the Dallas cowboys just know you heard it first right here….— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) March 15, 2022
F it. Since we’re gonna short change players, go re-sign Dorance & add Dante Fowler. Go into 2022 w/ these edges:— Shane Carter (@ShaneCarterTx) March 17, 2022
– draft pick
– Micah (part time)
I can live w/ this 🤷♂️. #CowboysNation
The addition of WR James Washington is an interesting fit. He gives the Cowboys reliable depth at receiver, as well as a physical player to lineup in the slot.
His roots are planted firm in Texas and this has likely been his desired landing spot from the start, having requested a trade in the past. While he doesn’t take away the option of drafting a receiver in April, it’s still a solid depth piece to fill in at the WR4 spot, recently held by Cedrick Wilson, and later Malik Turner.
During his career in Pittsburgh, Washington fell out of favor with the coaching staff, starting only 25 games in his career while still hauling in 114 catches for 1,629 yards and 11 touchdowns primarily as a deep threat.
Dante Fowler makes plenty of sense. The former No. 3 overall pick has been a bit of a journeyman player, playing for four teams in four seasons, including two in Atlanta where he played under defensive coordinator Dan Quinn in 2020.
A versatile edge rusher who can play at both outside spots, but has missed time dealing with injuries, unable to top his 2019 season of 11.5 sacks and 16 tackles for loss (so far).
A likely reason the Falcons decided to let him go a year into his three-year contract.
Despite his injury history, his fit in the scheme improves the depth currently at edge. In rotation with DeMarcus Lawrence and Dorance Armstrong, this is potentially high upside addition.
Both of these signings are by no means spectacular, but they’re a step in the right direction. With the Dallas Cowboys coming off a 12-5 season, there’s no room to get worse at key positions.
Neither player is a world breaker, but they’ve come at the right time. To a place that really needs them.