Cowboys Make ‘Savvy Move’ by Signing Former Athletic Standout: Report

Mike McCarthy

Getty The Cowboys are signing former Colts defensive end Ben Banogu.

The Dallas Cowboys are adding more bodies to their front seven.

As reported by Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News on Wednesday, June 7, the Cowboys are signing veteran defensive end Ben Banogu. Banogu is best known for being a former second-round draft pick of the Indianapolis Colts, spending all four of his NFL seasons in Indianapolis.

“Cowboys are expected to sign DE Ben Banogu, two people familiar with discussions said,” writes Gehlken. “Former TCU standout was a Colts second-round pick in 2019. He grew up in North Texas, graduating from Prosper High.”

Ben Banogu Has Failed to Live up to Second-Round Draft Billing

The 27-year-old Banogu was a highly touted edge rusher coming out of TCU. He was named a First-Team All-Big 12 selection during his final two seasons with the Horned Frogs and is notable for his athleticism, as Jerry Trotta of The Landry Hat points out.

“Banogu posted an elite 9.71 relative athletic score coming out of TCU three years ago,” writes Trotta. “He would’ve scored higher if not for his size, but he logged some impressive agility and explosion numbers for an edge, including a 40-inch vertical, 4.62 40-yard dash (!) and a 2.68 20-yard split.”

Despite entering the NFL with high expectations, Banogu never came close to living up to the hype. In fact, he never established himself as a starter during his four years in Indianapolis, failing to start a single game during his 50 appearances with the Colts.

During his 50 games, Banogu posted just 29 tackles and 2.5 sacks with three tackles for loss and six quarterback hits.

According to Pro Football Focus, Banogu has never posted higher than a 60.1 defensive grade — that occurred during the 2021 season when he appeared in just 68 defensive snaps — with his 50.6 defensive grade during the 2022 season being his high mark in a single season where he’s appeared in at least 100 defensive snaps.

Why Ben Banogu Could Be ‘Savvy’ Signing for Cowboys

While Banogu has disappointed during the first few years of his career, Trotta believes his signing is a “savvy move” for the Cowboys considering he’s a low-risk, possible high-reward move for Dallas.

“In the worse-case scenario, Banogu shows nothing and the Cowboys cut ties before training camp even starts,” writes Trotta. “In the best-case scenario, he sticks throughout camp and even sneaks onto the practice squad or 53-man roster for added depth along the defensive line and on special teams, where he has vast experience. This could be a worthwhile reclamation project for Quinn and the Cowboys.”

The Cowboys do have an abundance of pass-rushing specialists, including the likes of established stars, Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence. Outside of Parsons and Lawrence, Dallas also features veterans Dante Fowler and Dorance Armstrong, along with the second-year Sam Williams.

Banogu faces an uphill battle in making the Cowboys’ roster. However, if he has an impressive training camp, he could take a fringe veteran’s roster spot.

With the Banogu signing, the Cowboys’ roster officially stands at 89 players, leaving one roster spot open before Dallas enters training camp in July.


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