Dallas efforts remain on building the roster around Pro Bowl quarterback Dak Prescott. After the Cowboys surprisingly missed out on Randy Gregory, star linebacker Micah Parsons made a public pitch to recruit Von Miller and Bobby Wagner.
Cowboys embarrassingly whiff on keeping Randy Gregory
Through the early stages of free agency, the Cowboys focused on addressing the offensive side of the ball.
On Tuesday, the attention shifted to the defense with what was believed to be a five-year, $70 million deal to re-sign defensive end Randy Gregory. However, he broke off the agreement after the Cowboys made some last-second contract language changes to protect the team. The deal falling apart reportedly left team owner Jerry Jones angry.
Meanwhile, Gregory didn’t take long to find a new landing spot as he reportedly agreed to join the Denver Broncos. After the Cowboys drafted the Nebraska product with the 60th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the franchise stuck firmly to the pass rusher.
The 29-year-old played five seasons with Dallas, where he recorded 85 total tackles, 16.5 sacks, and eight forced fumbles. He’s coming off his most productive campaign, where he notched a career-high 6.0 sacks, 19 total tackles, and three forced fumbles.
Gregory’s decision to leave the Cowboys led standout linebacker Micah Parsons to publicly recruitment to two proven defensive talents to join him.
Micah Parsons recruits Von Miller and Bobby Wagner to the Cowboys
The Cowboys’ mishandling of the Gregory situation leaves the front office looking to fill the significant void.
2021 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Micah Parson used his elevated platform to deliver subtle recruitment of linebackers Von Miller and Bobby Wagner, who are venturing through their first free agency experience. Miller previously hinted at returning to the Broncos, but the addition of Gregory likely takes them out of the picture.
According to NFL Network‘s Jane Slater, Miller is interested in going to Dallas, where he has a home close to the practice facility. Hall of Famer DeMarcus Ware spiced up the conversation by voicing that he spoke to the former Super Bowl MVP about joining his former team.
Miller’s response to Ware’s video tweet with emoji eyes has further spotlighted the potential landing spot. The Los Angeles Rams are expected to make a strong push to retain him, but their salary-cap limitations may become an issue.
The Pro Bowler would fill a significant need of a pass rusher, as his brief stint with the Rams showcased he remains an elite talent, recording nine sacks, 18 tackles for a loss, 14 quarterback hits, and 45 total tackles in 12 games.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys have already held exploratory talks with Wagner, but things haven’t progressed further than that yet. The former Seattle Seahawks star remains one of the game’s best linebackers behind six All-Pro First Team selections and eight Pro Bowl selections.
Time will tell whether the Cowboys make a firm move to acquire either or both star defensive talents.
Aiming for Super Bowl contention in 2022
Despite reaching the playoffs for the first time in three years, the Cowboys’ disappointing playoff exit has brought increased scrutiny.
Dallas hopes to take the next step toward Super Bowl contention in 2022. The front office has constructed a formidably balanced roster that will vie for another NFC East division title. However, Dak Prescott’s massive contract places more pressure on the Cowboys to compete for a championship.
Time will tell whether Dallas possesses the roster to lift them beyond another early postseason exit.