FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys have the room.
The Dallas Cowboys have the need.
The Dallas Cowboys are signing Anthony Barr, as first noted on Wednesday by NFL Network.
The Cowboys' cap space up to about $22 million. ... something the Cowboys have been squatting on for more than a month.
What to do with it?
Anthony Barr, that's what to do with it.
Given the fact that the Cowboys recently flirted with the idea of signing multiple-time Pro Bowl linebacker Bobby Wagner before he landed with the Rams, there has been an acknowledgement of a need. (Heck, they also flirted with Von Miller, again marking an acknowledgement.) Barr has been a star-caliber player for the Minnesota Vikings defense, and he's now 30 ... with a connection to the Dallas coaching staff ... and still unsigned.
Is there be a fit?
First off, of course - as always - is the money. Barr played at $10 million last year. Is that too much? Or, if you are a Super Bowl hopeful with a need and $22 million of cap room - and an owner in Jerry Jones who recently told CowboysSI.com that he's still willing to be a "reckless'' spender - is it just right.
There is the question of where he plays. The Cowboys linebacker room is led by Micah Parsons, and Dallas re-signed Leighton Vander Esch, with Jabril Cox coming back from injury. Parsons - arguably and suddenly the game's No. 1 linebacker - is best-used as a chess piece; if there was another linebacker available, it would free him to be more of a pass-rusher.
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Except ... that's actually what Barr, the former UCLA star who was taken as the ninth overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, is. In fact, as we recall, the Cowboys - who liked Barr in that draft - sort of thought of him as a pass rusher.
That's not a bad thing; in Barr's rookie season, he had 70 total tackles, four sacks, two forced fumbles and a touchdown. And then in four consecutive seasons from 2015 through 2018, Barr made the Pro Bowl. (He did so, by the way, under the supervision of Minnesota defensive coordinator George Edwards, now a Dallas assistant.)
Inside The Star, sources have long acknowledged to us interest in Barr, and thinking that Barr qualifies as a Micah helper, or even as "Micah Lite.'' Weak-side linebacker. Rush the passer. Drop into coverage. Veteran presence. So yes, the Cowboys are aware.
He has been plagued by injuries as of late; that's why Barr got only a one-year ($10 million) deal last spring. It's likely why he's still on the shelf now. Still, the longer he stays on that shelf, the more viable an idea this becomes.
Dallas, for all the cap-related criticism it gets, is actually quite successful when it comes to cheap, short-term signings of vets trying to rehab their career. The Cowboys defense today features a host of those guys: Jayron Kearse, Malik Hooker, Vander Esch, Carlos Watkins, Dante Fowler ...
And you know what? As much as COO Stephen Jones wants a balanced roster and a balanced cap, with today's money earmarked for future in-house signings, part of the purpose of saving money on those guys - should be to sign guys like Anthony Barr.
And now it is.
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