Ex-Cowboys Veteran ‘Seeks’ Return to Dallas: Report

Mike McCarthy

Getty Former Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens is seeking a return to Dallas.

A former Dallas Cowboys starter is seeking a return after four years away from the team.

According to a report from Calvin Watkins of The Dallas Morning News, linebacker Anthony Hitchens “seeks” a return to Dallas. The 29-year-old linebacker spent the past four seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, starting all 59 games he appeared in.

“Former Cowboys LB Anthony Hitchens has a desire to return after spending 4 years in KC,” says Watkins.”Cowboys seek a LB in FA or draft. Can Hitchens and Parsons work together?”

Hitchens entered the NFL as a fourth-round draft selection of the Cowboys back in 2014. The outside linebacker immediately emerged as a starter during his rookie campaign, starting 11 games. He would remain a starter until his final season in 2017, starting starting 48 of the 60 games he appeared in across four seasons in Dallas.

However, it remains to be seen if Dallas is interested in a reunion. Hitchens was a quality linebacker during his final two seasons in Dallas (67.1 defensive grade in 2016 and and 73.0 defensive grade in 2017, according to Pro Football Focus), but he’s coming off of a 44.1 defensive grade in 2021, the second-lowest of his career.

The market has certainly shaken up over the past 24 hours following the Seattle Seahawks’ release of Bobby Wagner. If Dallas doesn’t show interest in Wagner, they could shift their attention to a reunion with Hitchens — who will certainly come at a much cheaper price.


Cowboys’ Signing of Wagner ‘Highly Unlikely’

Speaking of Wagner, early signs on the Cowboys’ interest in Wagner are not very good.

According to Jane Slater of the NFL Network, the Cowboys signing the eight-time Pro Bowler are “highly unlikely.”

“It’s my annual ruin hopes and dreams of #Cowboys at play in FA tweet…Bobby Wagner is now this season’s Earl Thomas but I did my due diligence…they aren’t kicking the idea around…yet,” says Slater. “But as this always goes in Dallas…highly unlikely.”

While Wagner is certainly at an advanced age at nearly 32 years old, he’s the most accomplished defensive player on the market. Wagner is an eight-time Pro Bowler and an eight-time All-Pro selection, having garnered each accolade for eight consecutive seasons since 2014.

The 10-year veteran just established a career-high with 170 tackles during the 2021 campaign.

The potential idea of Wagner makes sense on paper. Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn coached Wagner in the same role as the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator in 2014 and 2015. Furthermore, Wagner could help young upstart Micah Parsons raise his game even further.

The Cowboys have a salary cap situation to fix before considering a Wagner signing. They’re currently $3 million over the salary cap, but restructures to contracts could help them operate in the positives.

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Cowboys Could Trade Cooper Rather Than Release Him

It looks like the Cowboys could trade Amari Cooper, rather than release him.

According to Slater, interested teams are looking to acquire Cooper via trade and restructure his five-year, $100 million contract.

“Don’t expect news on Amari Cooper until we get closer to the 5th day of the league year? Why? I’m told the #Cowboys have been fielding some calls. Advantage for teams? You don’t battle for him on open market. They get to redo the deal and can spread money out via signing bonus,” explains Slater.

While Cooper has fallen out of favor in Dallas due to his massive contract, he remains young (27 years old) and productive (eight touchdowns in 2021). He’s just one year removed from a 92-reception, 1,114-yard season.

Cooper will be on his way out, but the Cowboys will be sure to acquire something in return for the four-time Pro Bowl receiver.

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