The Dallas Cowboys are still linked to Minnesota Vikings free agent defender. This time ESPN’s Matt Bowen points to the Cowboys for the best landing spot of the 6’5’’, 257-pound linebacker.
Bowen explained that second-level players who have sub-package characteristics in Dan Quinn’s defensive system are more valuable than those with higher-level traits. The Cowboys had only 11 base defense snaps in 2021, which is a league low. Barr is a three-down player who can drop in coverage, pressure the quarterback, and/or track down the ball in the running game.
Barr is not a player I see as having high-level impact potential at this point in his career. However, Quinn can use him to scheme up in defense of Quinn as a blitzer and we know that he has the ability match/carry below in coverage. Last season, Barr caught three passes in Minnesota.
There’s more to this story than speculation. Star Telegram’s Clarence Hill reported that there is “definite interest” in Barr from Dallas. Hill said that Barr is intriguing to the Cowboys, but at the right price.
Hill tweeted, “Free agent linebacker Anthony Barr would be a good option for the Cowboys if the price is right, per source.” There is a lot of interest in that position.
While it remains to be determined what the price will be, Dallas could be able to get a deal on Barr if free agency continues without Barr signing a new contract. Pro Football Focus predicted that Barr would be granted a $14.5 million two-year contract, which also included $8.5million of guaranteed money. There are 78 free agents. The Cowboys have an impressive amount of cap space, with a projected $20million. Spotrac
PFF has been harsh about Barr in recent years, as the linebacker hasn’t earned a grade of 70+ since 2018. Barr received a 62.9 grade in 2021, and a disappointing 47.5 two years ago.
Barr suffered injuries in both seasons and only played 13 games the past two years. Barr had 72 tackles and six quarterback hits. He also recorded 2.5 sacks, five pass flections, and three interceptions in his 11 appearances for the team in 2021.
Bowen isn’t the only analyst to see the Cowboys as a match with ESPN’s Bill Barnwell anticipating that Barr would eventually land in Dallas. Barnwell sees Barr as a perfect running mate for Micah Parsons, and a possible replacement for Randy Gregory.
Barnwell wrote that Barr is now a free agent and suggested that Barr could be used in a more hybrid role. We saw the Cowboys get something truly special out of Micah Parsons last year by using their 2020 first round pick as an off-ball linebacker, and also an edge rusher. Barr isn’t Parsons but Dallas lost Randy Gregory this offseason so Barr would be an eligible rusher for the Cowboys who can also play a traditional linebacker role.
“Barr and Leighton Van Esch could each be leveraged against the other’s injury histories, and senior Cowboys defensive Assistant George Edwards served in Barr’s defensive coordination between 2014-2019.”