The Dallas Cowboys have plenty of time to make roster additions. One NFL reporter has listed a Kansas City Chiefs defensive back as someone Dallas “must consider.”
The Cowboys are in a unique position at linebacker. Micah Parsons is a star but isn’t an every-down linebacker because of his pass-rushing responsibilities. Devante Bond, a free agent signing signed in December and Jabril Cock is currently recovering from an ACL tear in Week 8.
Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Luc believes that Dallas’ situation as a linebacker requires reinforcement. Knox has listed Anthony Hitchens, a familiar and affordable option, as a free agency signing this summer.
Knox wrote that “The Cowboys have a questionable linebacker depth.” “And they didn’t draft a linebacker before taking Damone Clark into the fifth round. Hitchens is well worth a look as Dallas continues to see what it has at level 2.
Although the Cowboys’ and Hitchens are very familiar, there has been a lot of change since Hitchens last played in 2017. Hitchens checks a lot of boxes, should the Cowboys require a linebacker by 2022.
Hitchens played over half of Dallas’ defensive snaps from 2014 to 2017, according to Pro Football Reference. Hitchens was an interior linebacker before he developed a knack to read plays and pursue the ball.
He was at his best in Dallas, 2017 despite missing four regular-season games. He had 59 solo tackles in that season, which was second among his four years with Cowboys. Additionally, he added a forced pass, two passes defensed, and a career-high nine tackles.
Per Spotrac, Hitchens’s play earned him a $45 million five-year contract with Kansas City. In 2018, Hitchens’ debut season with the Chiefs saw him record 100+ combined tackles, and amass 135 total.
Hitchens was only six times absent from the Chiefs over four years, and he started every game for 59 starts. Kansas City was able to return Hitchens’ five year deal and the Chiefs released Hitchens this spring to free $8.44 million of cap space.
Knox’s argument that Hitchens is a good fit for him is based on his price. Knox points out that off-ball linebackers aren’t a highly-priced commodity, with Jordan Hicks of the Minnesota Vikings getting $5 million per year.
Hitchens was paid over $9 million annually while playing for the Chiefs. Knox believes that half of that amount could be enough to get the 30-year old to come back to Dallas.
Knox wrote that “Dallas should have the ability to bring back Hitchens under a deal in between $4-5 million and $5 million.” “Leaving enough flexibility to add a player like Suh or extend another key contributor–franchise-tagged tight end Dalton Schultz could be a candidate there.”
Dallas must conserve some of their cap space. However, with an estimated 21.1 million available , it’s not impossible to make a commitment of $4-5 million. Now it’s up to the Cowboys to decide if they feel the need for a linebacker in the coming fall.