On March 17, the Dallas Cowboys agreed to terms with DT Gerald McCoy on a three-year deal.
The defensive tackle position for the Cowboys was arguably the biggest need for them to fill this off-season. It is not often that Jerry Jones brings in a “big name” player through free agency, let alone one who was regarded as one of the best at his position not too long ago, but that is exactly what he did here.
Gerald McCoy has started in all 139 games of his career with the Buccaneers and Panthers and tallied 59.5 sacks. He has put up five sacks or more in every single season since 2012 and has finished with double-digit numbers in QB hits in all but one season.
There are some who believe that he “fell off” last season with the Carolina Panthers, but that is just not true.
He finished with his usual five sacks, 37 total tackles, and 13 QB hits. To go more in-depth, he had a total of 42 pressures (14th among interior linemen) and had a run defense grade of 77.1 (18th), according to PFF.
He still put up his regular numbers even when the Panthers rotated him around more than he ever has before, which is a great thing for a Cowboys team who looks to be changing their defensive scheme and could use all of that versatility.
Cowboys DT Gerald McCoy on @SiriusXMNFL: "I have never rotated as much as I did last year in Carolina. That's not what I was used to. I can play all game if I have to. … I'm an every down guy. That hasn't changed, and I don't plan on it changing this year."
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) March 20, 2020
McCoy has been very vocal about his excitement to be a Dallas Cowboy.
He has gone on record saying they “have all the pieces to win” and even how he is excited to be able to play a Thanksgiving game. The Cowboys’ team and the fans should be very happy to be able to bring in this big of a player in Gerald McCoy with the attitude and motivation he is showing.
Spoke to Gerald McCoy. He's "excited to go to Dallas." Growing up as a kid in Okla he always had an affinity for the #Cowboys, it gives him a chance 2b close to his son "who's going to Oklahoma." "I truly believe we're going to have a great season. We have all the pieces to win."
— ig: josinaanderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 18, 2020
It also helps that his contract is a very favorable one for Dallas.
Over the next three years, the Cowboys will be paying McCoy just over $5M per season and only $4M in total guaranteed money, so it is nice to see that they did not have to break the bank for him.
Gerald McCoy’s contract details, pending a physical:
Three years, max of $20.25 million
Signing bonus: $3 million
2020 base: $2.5 million (fully guaranteed)
2021 base: $5 million ($1.5 million fully guaranteed)
2022 base: $5.25 million
Active roster… https://t.co/drANPrWleQ
— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) March 18, 2020
The Cowboys have shown a great sense of urgency in improving the interior of their defensive line not only in signing Gerald McCoy but also in pairing him with Dontari Poe. This gives the team much-needed size in the middle of that line that they have not had in a very long time and should help them greatly in run defense.
The signing of Gerald McCoy, with his favorable contract and excitement to be on the team, could prove to be the equivalent of the Robert Quinn addition to the team last off-season in terms of production and team value. Although this time they will not have to part ways with McCoy after just one season.
With all the reports of the Cowboys changing their defensive scheme next season as well as their attempts to make this defense even better should have fans excited for how they approach the draft and how these pieces will fit together next season.
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