Growing up in Oklahoma, Gerald McCoy frequently tuned into Dallas Cowboys games, “because it’s all we had.” Decades later, the decorated defensive tackle finds himself a member of America’s Team, in a turn of events that can only be described as magical.
The Cowboys and McCoy agreed to three-year, $20 million contract at the onset of free agency. He brings with him a decade of starting experience and a resume highlighted by six Pro Bowl trips and three first-team All-Pro selections. Suffice it to say, this was a big get for a Dallas defense which lost two starting defensive linemen, Robert Quinn (Bears) and Maliek Collins (Raiders), during the annual signing period.
And a bigger accomplishment to McCoy, joining the franchise he spent his formative years idolizing — the franchise he feels isn’t far off from contending for a championship.
“They have so much talent,” he said, via The Athletic. “Unfortunately they couldn’t put it together last year, but every year is different. I truly believe they have all the pieces necessary.”
The No. 3 overall pick of the 2010 draft, McCoy went one-and-done with the Carolina Panthers in 2019, after landing with the club last June. He registered 37 tackles, five sacks, and two pass breakups across 16 starts, proving he’s still a highly capable interior disruptor.
Prior to his Panthers stint, McCoy honed an all-star pass-rushing reputation in Tampa. He spent his first nine professional seasons with the Buccaneers and totaled 297 tackles (220 solo), 140 quarterback hits, 79 tackles for loss, and 54.5 sacks across 123 games. The production warranted an eight-year, $108.5 million extension in 2014, which included a whopping $51.5 million guaranteed.
“I have never rotated as much as I did last year in Carolina,” McCoy said, per The Athletic. “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.”
For his age-32 campaign, McCoy should immediately contribute for the Cowboys and new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, who likely was drawn to his ability to function as a 5-, 3- or 1-technique lineman — that is, the versatility to work along the edges, kick inside, or handle nose duties. He could start at DE opposite DeMarcus Lawrence, forcing Tyrone Crawford to the bench.
Beyond his scheme fit, McCoy is excited about the perks of playing for Dallas, such as the national television exposure and Thanksgiving Day game tradition. He twice reiterated the 2020 campaign will be “a lot of fun,” and, in his estimation, highly successful.
“I believe we’re gonna make a lot of noise,” he said, per The Athletic. “Prime time. That’s what Dallas is. America’s Team. I’ve never been on a team of this magnitude…You mention the star and the Dallas Cowboys, they’re on TV dang near every week.”
Follow the Heavy on Cowboys Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!