The Dallas Cowboys still have areas they can improve, and with just weeks until the regular season starts, the best addition could be a veteran in free agency.
It’s how the Cowboys addressed the linebacker position with Anthony Barr less than a month ago, despite the signing coming after weeks of speculation, links and plot twists. In terms of the next area to address, offensive tackle has to be considered.
Star tackle Tyron Smith is dinged up, and rookie backup tackle Matt Waletzko is out for significant time. That leaves Dallas precariously thin at tackle on the left side, as well as just thin at the position as a whole.
To fix that issue, Blogging the Boys writer David Howman proposes a move for Eric Fisher. Fisher was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft, joining the Kansas City Chiefs and spending eight seasons there before moving to the Indianapolis Colts for the 2021 season.
“Indianapolis did not re-sign Fisher, and it seems his performance last year has scared teams off from considering him a starter anymore,” Howman wrote. “But in Dallas, Fisher would represent tremendous value as a swing tackle given his experience and pedigree.”
Fisher may not be a starter anymore, but that’s now what the Cowboys need. In terms of options, Dallas would be hard-pressed to find a better value.
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From Chiefs Draft Dud to Pro Bowler
When Fisher was drafted first overall, it came as a bit of a surprise. In terms of the broader NFL audience, some or most fans didn’t even know who the offensive tackle from Central Michigan was.
But the Chiefs believed in Fisher, and stuck with him through thick and thin. Fisher started 113 games for Kansas City according to PFR, but his first couple years were hardly impressive. However, an overall strong performance earned him a big second contract from the Chiefs, and that investment paid off.
In 2018 and 2020, Fisher was selected to the Pro Bowl as he reached his prime. He only started eight games in KC’s Super Bowl season in 2019 due to injury, but he was an important part of the Chiefs’ build around QB Patrick Mahomes.
But with Fisher due another payday in 2021, Kansas City moved on and that led to a one-year, $8.4 million deal with the Colts per Spotrac. But if Dallas wants Fisher as a backup tackle, it’s hard imagining him getting anywhere close to that money.
Can Cowboys Afford Fisher?
While Dallas does have $19.25 million in cap space, the team likely doesn’t want to shell out close to $10 million for a backup tackle. The good news is that Fisher is still available, but can Dallas afford to pay him?
Well if Pro Football Focus’ projection of a $16 million contract is accurate, the answer is no. That is cornerstone tackle money, and even Tyron Smith doesn’t make that much. A deal for $4-6 million is still steep for a backup tackle, but Fisher does have the quality and experience to step in and play like a starter.
The former CMU star is an interesting potential solution for Dallas, but it has to be for the right price. Dallas has been stingy this offseason with money, and it’s hard to think owner Jerry Jones will divulge from that approach even if Fisher is interested.