Cowboys Linked to Potential Future Hall-of-Fame Sack Artist in Free Agency

Cameron Wake vs. Jets

Getty Cameron Wake vs. Jets

With roughly $13.57 million in remaining salary cap space, the Dallas Cowboys can afford to make a final free-agent signing before the NFL draft, for which they’re allocating over $7 million.

That signing, according to Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox, should be former Dolphins and Titans pass-rusher Cameron Wake, one of the better players left on a picked-over yet name-rich market that includes Jameis Winston, Cam Newton and Jadeveon Clowney.

Knox believes Wake would represent an “insurance plan” following Dallas’ recent addition of indefinitely-suspended edge defender Aldon Smith, who’s fighting for reinstatement.

Although he produced only 2.5 sacks for the Tennessee Titans last season, he had a double-digit sack campaign as recently as 2017.

New defensive coordinator Mike Nolan has experience with the 38-year-old sack-artist as well. He was the Miami Dolphins’ defensive coordinator in 2010 and 2011, during which time Wake racked up 22.5 sacks.

Wake’s incredible backstory is popular knowledge. Undrafted in 2005 and unable to break into the big leagues, the Penn State product was led to the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League. He dominated the CFL from 2007-08 and eventually earned a shot with Miami. The rest, as they say, is history.

Among the most fearsome quarterback harassers of this generation, Wake blossomed into a five-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro (thrice a second-teamer) who totaled 360 combined tackles, 213 QB hits, 98 sacks, 97 tackles-for-loss, 22 forced fumbles, and 15 pass breakups across a consistently impressive decade-long Dolphins tenure (2009-18).

Wake was allowed to hit free agency in 2019 and landed a three-year, $23 million deal from the Tennessee Titans. He proved one-and-done in the Music City, tallying just 2.5 sacks across nine games and 195 defensive snaps before landing on injured reserve.

Having turned 38 in January, a report last month claimed Wake was expected to retire. His agent, Paul Sheehy, refuted the rumor, however.

“As Cam’s agent, I can tell you this is simply not true,” Sheehy tweeted. “Cameron is playing this season and we are actively engaged in conversations with teams.”

Wake hasn’t drawn much interest from these supposed suitors. He figures to be left untouched until the coronavirus pandemic subsides and teams are allowed to reopen their facilities, providing in-house medical examinations.

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Cowboys Don’t Need Him

There’s no such thing as having too many pass-rushers — just ask the 49ers — but the Cowboys did already bring aboard defensive linemen Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe on top of landing Smith. They’re returning $105 million man DeMarcus Lawrence and DE bookend Tyrone Crawford, and new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan undoubtedly hopes to get snaps to 2019 second-round pick Trysten Hill.

Although Wake is still a capable pro, his presence may do more harm than good if he takes reps away from younger players like Hill and Smith. It’s likelier, if they aren’t done adding to the position, the Cowboys supplement the D-line via this month’s draft.


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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL