Cowboys Urged to Sign 6-Time Pro Bowler: ‘A Great Replacement’

Calais Campbell

Getty Defensive end Calais Campbell of the Baltimore Ravens during an NFL game against the Las Vegas Raiders.

As free agency continues, the Dallas Cowboys are trying to navigate their newfound cap space and improve the roster.

Thanks to the trading of Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns and the contract restructures of quarterback Dak Prescott and guard Zack Martin, Dallas has $25.47 million in cap space this year.

Jerry Jones and the Cowboys have utilized some of their available funds, landing wide receiver James Washington, re-signing fellow WR Michael Gallup and keeping tight end Dalton Schultz on the franchise tag.

But it seems apparent that the Cowboys are interested in using that money to improve a playoff-caliber team, which is why Pro Football Network’s Tommy Garrett thinks Dallas needs to sign defensive end Calais Campbell this offseason.

While Dallas was able to work out a new deal with DeMarcus Lawrence, Randy Gregory left the team on bad terms. Dante Fowler is joining as one new option, but Garrett believes the Cowboys can use their space to get even better.

“For a team in win-now mode, they need to start making some positive additions to bolster their chances in the NFC. While he doesn’t offer the same level of production as Gregory at this point in his career,” Garrett writes. “Campbell could be a great replacement for Dan Quinn to scheme off the edge. Campbell started 14 games last season and should be able to put together at least one more solid campaign before riding into the sunset. It’s not always the flashy moves that win games and titles. It’s the transactions that make you a more well-rounded team. Signing Campbell in free agency would be doing just that for Dallas.”

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Campbell’s Impressive Career

For 14 seasons, Campbell has been an absolute force in the NFL. A six-time Pro Bowler with one first-team and two second-team All-Pro selections, the stats at Pro Football Reference show there’s never been a question about the 35-year-old’s ability.

After a nine-year run with the Arizona Cardinals that saw him earn 56.5 sacks, 8 forced fumbles and 107 tackles for loss, Campbell reached his peak with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Including 14.5 sacks in his first-team All-Pro season in 2017, Campbell brought down QBs 31.5 times over three seasons.

In 2020 and 2021, the former Miami Hurricane played with the Baltimore Ravens, totaling 5.5 sacks and 10 tackles for loss. Campbell’s production is understandably slowing down, but part of that is due to a reduced number of snaps.

After never playing less than 77% of snaps for his team’s defense coming into 2020, he has only played 57.5% of snaps in Baltimore. As he’s reaching the final years of his career, he still has tremendous pass-rushing skills, but can’t quite put his hand down in the dirt every play at 35 years old.

What Cowboys Would Have to Pay for Campbell

Part of why bringing in Campbell would make sense is that he would likely be available for a decent price that would match how much he can actually hit the field these days.

Certainly, the contract wouldn’t run longer than one or two years, and even two years feels unlikely for a player of his age. The Ravens gave Campbell a two-year deal worth $25 million, but it’s also worth noting that he was just coming off his best three-year run yet.

Now that it’s clear he can only play so many snaps and be effective, his price ought to be fairly low. Over the Cap estimates that Campbell’s 2021 contributions were worth about $7 million, to put it in perspective.

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Joe Crowder
Joe Crowder
10 months ago

The Boys definitely need someone to replace Randy Gregory. IF they get someone as good or better than him and IF Micah Parsons plays on the line full time, we’d have a VERY formidable D-Line. The defensive backfield still needs shoring up too. IF we plan on making to and past round 1 of the playoffs, the offense needs a major makeover, starting with Zeke. Numbers don’t lie and his shows that he has been on a steady decline since his rookie year. I love his heart, but heart without talent doesn’t usually win football games. The other concern is the offensive line. Even when they were healthy this past year, both Zack Martin and Tyron Smith were not opening holes the way they were in previous years, and Tyron is VERY injury prone, spending about as much time on the bench as he does on the field. As much as they are loved in Big D, it’s time to start looking for their replacements. With the loss of both Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson, it’s going to be interesting for the wide receivers. In my opinion, their best receiver at this time is Michael Gallup, but he gets injured a lot. It’ll be interesting to see how he fares after getting that big contract. The receiver with the most potential is #88 himself, CeeDee Lamb, but he seems lazy as a receiver to me. If he had the drive that Michael Irvin, the best #88, had, he’d be virtually unstoppable. I know I followed a lot of rabbit trails in my discussion……..but that’s my two cents worth!

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