The Cowboys have shown a commitment to building the linebacker position over the last two off-seasons. After snagging Micah Parsons and Jabril Cox in the 2021 NFL draft, the Cowboys snagged two more in Damone Clark and Devin Harper less than two weeks ago.
Cox is expected to make a full recovery and will be ready for the start of the 2022 season. However, Clark will more than likely miss his rookie campaign and Harper will look to special teams to make an impact while he still develops. This leaves room for a veteran to come in and provide more depth and experience, and linebacker Anthony Barr may make a nice fit in Dallas.
Barr was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings with the ninth overall pick in 2014. By his second season, Barr was named a second-team all-pro and started a four-year run of Pro Bowl nods. After a career-high 79 tackles in 2019, Barr began to have injury woes.
In 2020, Barr would only play in two games as a torn pectoral muscle ended his season prematurely. He was productive last season with 72 tackles, but knee and hamstring injuries cost him six games.
How does Barr fit with the Cowboys?
Parsons showed as a rookie that he was much more than a typical off-the-ball linebacker by amassing 13 sacks. If Barr was signed by the Cowboys, Parsons would get to rush the passer even more. Barr can also drop into coverage and be effective which he displayed last season with a career-high three interceptions. With coverage being a strong suit of Cox as well, it would give defensive coordinator even more leeway to send Parsons after the quarterback.
The Cowboys signing Barr would reunite him with George Edwards, the team’s senior defensive assistant. Edwards was the defensive coordinator for the Vikings for all four of Barr’s Pro Bowl seasons in the NFL. If anyone knows how to get the most out of Barr it would be Edwards which will help Quinn to come up with ways to use him in his scheme.
All the football stuff sounds good, but of course, signing Barr would have to fit for the Cowboys financially. Per over the cap, the Cowboys have about $15.4 million in cap space, and Barr made $10 million with the Vikings last season. The Cowboys would likely offer Barr a one-year deal close to the league minimum so that’s something that may be a tough challenge to overcome.
It wouldn’t hurt the Cowboys to explore this option. If successful, Barr gives them veteran leadership and depth at the weak side linebacker spot who can cover and get pressure on the quarterback if need be.
Feature image via Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports