Cowboys signal Anthony Barr: How can he assist protection?

By David Helman
FOX Sports activities Dallas Cowboys Author

OXNARD, Calif. — It won’t be a receiver, however the Dallas Cowboys have made their first main transfer of this season.

One week into practices out right here on the West Coast, the Cowboys agreed to a one-year cope with veteran linebacker and four-time Professional Bowler Anthony Barr on Wednesday. The Cowboys had been linked to Barr, who spent eight seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, for the previous few months earlier than in the end agreeing on a deal.

With 103 profession begins and 523 whole tackles to his identify, Barr is an apparent enhance to a linebacker corps that was missing in depth. The Cowboys boast a strong prime duo of Micah Parsons and Leighton Vander Esch, however the group behind them — Jabril Cox, Luke Gifford, Malik Jefferson and Devin Harper — is missing in expertise.

That’s clearly not the case with Barr, who spent six seasons in Minnesota with present Cowboys assistant George Edwards, who was the Vikings’ defensive coordinator when Barr was drafted with the No. 9 general decide within the 2014 NFL Draft.

It is a humorous reminder of how issues can come full circle. Barr was considered one of a handful of defensive prospects the Cowboys coveted on the prime of that draft, together with Aaron Donald and Ryan Shazier. All three of them had been snatched out from in entrance of them, so that they settled on All-Professional guard Zack Martin — which turned out to be a fantastic determination, looking back.

Including Barr is about extra than simply pure numbers, although. The signing provides the Cowboys fairly just a few versatile items that defensive coordinator Dan Quinn can use.

For starters, it is no secret Parsons will play a task within the Cowboys’ cross rush. Contemporary off a 13-sack rookie season, Parsons has spent loads of time in coaching camp aligned alongside the sting. Including Barr provides Quinn one other confirmed linebacker who can assist Vander Esch man the center of the sphere whereas Parsons pursues the quarterback.

Barr ought to be capable to assist in extra methods than one, although. He rushed the passer ceaselessly throughout his faculty profession at UCLA, and that has translated to the NFL. It clearly hasn’t been his major focus, however Barr has 17.5 profession sacks for his profession, posting 2.5 throughout the 2021 season.

Whether or not as a blitzer or an edge rusher, it stands to purpose Quinn might discover methods to get Barr to the quarterback, as effectively.

As beforehand famous, possibly this is not the final transfer to return. The foot harm suffered by James Washington on Monday nonetheless has the Cowboys in a little bit of a bind at broad receiver. 

That’ll have to attend. However in the meanwhile, they’ve added the most effective remaining free-agent defenders in the marketplace — and a man who ought to be capable to contribute to this protection in additional methods than one.

David Helman covers the Dallas Cowboys for FOX Sports activities, offering perception and evaluation on the NFL’s most seen franchise. Previous to becoming a member of FOX, David spent 9 seasons overlaying the Cowboys for the staff’s official web site, In 2018, he gained a regional Emmy for his function in producing “Dak Prescott: A Family Reunion” in regards to the quarterback’s time at Mississippi State.

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