Cowboys Told to Sign 2x Pro Bowl Former NFC Rival

Kawann Short sacks Dak Prescott

Getty Kawann Short sacks Dak Prescott

A veteran defender not named Richard Sherman has been bandied as a potential Dallas Cowboys free-agent target.

Listing one move each NFL team should execute before the 2021 season, Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski connected the Cowboys to former Carolina Panthers defensive lineman Kawann Short.

“As of now, the Cowboys have $5.8 million in available salary-cap space, but they’re already over the projected numbers for the 2022 and ’23 campaigns,” Sobleski wrote.

“So, the team can only make a minor, short-term move to improve this year’s squad.

“Kawann Short may not be the player he once was. In fact, the defensive lineman played in only five games over the last two seasons because of shoulder issues. But the Cowboys need help along their defensive interior. A year ago, Dallas finished 31st against the run. The team didn’t add much to the position.

“Short on a one-year, prove-it deal couldn’t hurt the team. He may even be able to help.”

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Background Info & Potential Fit

A 2013 second-round pick out of Purdue, Short had spent his entire professional tenure in Carolina, appearing in 99 games and making 76 starts across eight seasons. He totaled 280 tackles (167 solo), 88 quarterback hits, 59 tackles for loss, 32.5 sacks, and nine forced fumbles.

Short’s best season came in 2015 when he notched a personal-best 11 sacks and tied a career-high with 55 combined tackles, earning Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro honors.  He was also named to the Pro Bowl in 2015.

Short suffered a partially torn rotator cuff which torpedoed his 2019 and 2020 campaigns. The 32-year-old was released by Carolina this past February, nearly four months to the day after undergoing reparative shoulder surgery.

Provided his medicals check out, Short — perhaps little more than a run-stuffer at this stage — would further bolster a Cowboys defensive line featuring projected starters DeMarcus Lawrence, Neville Gallimore, Trysten Hill, and Randy Gregory.

However, it’s unclear whether the organization, which used third- and sixth-round picks on rookie DTs Osa Odighizuwa and Quinton Bohanna, deems such a luxury signing necessary ahead of the August preseason period.

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Sherman Linked to Dallas

As mentioned, the Cowboys were yet again regarded as a suitable landing spot for five-time Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman. In fact, CBS Sports’ Tyler Sullivan believes Big D is the top suitor for Sherman’s yet-to-be-acquired services.

“While it was tempting to project a storybook ending to Sherman’s career with a return to Seattle, the Cowboys do present an interesting landing spot as well,” Sullivan wrote. “Dallas has invested in the secondary over the last two seasons with second-round picks Kelvin Joseph (2021) and Trevon Diggs (2020), but they could use a veteran piece like Sherman to help mold the still-developing unit over the next season or so. It also doesn’t hurt that Sherman would have some familiarity with Dallas’ defensive scheme with former Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn now running that unit for head coach Mike McCarthy.”

READ NEXT: Cowboys Speculated in Trade for Super Bowl-Winning QB

Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL

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