NFL Reporter Names Ex-Chiefs Star as Possible Addition for Cowboys: ‘Must Consider’

Anthony Hitchens

Getty Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills is tackled by Anthony Hitchens #53 and Daniel Sorensen #49 of the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Dallas Cowboys still have time to add to the roster, and one NFL reporter is listing a Kansas City Chiefs defender as a player Dallas “must consider.”

The Cowboys have an interesting situation at linebacker, as Micah Parsons has solidified himself as a star, but isn’t a true every-down linebacker due to his pass-rushing responsibilities. Elsewhere, free agency signing Devante Bond is out for the 2022 season after signing in late December and Jabril Cox is recovering from a torn ACL in Week 8 of 2021.

For Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox, Dallas’ linebacker situation calls for reinforcement. In terms of an affordable and familiar option, Knox is listing Anthony Hitchens as an ideal free agency signing this summer.

“The Cowboys’ linebacker depth is questionable,” Knox wrote. “And they didn’t draft a linebacker until taking Damone Clark in the fifth round. Hitchens is worth a look, as Dallas continues to discern what it has at the second level.”

Obviously, the Cowboys and Hitchens are familiar with each other, but there’s been quite a bit of change since the linebacker last played for Dallas in 2017. However, Hitchens does check a lot of boxes should the Cowboys need to add a linebacker in 2022.

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Hitchens Becomes Key Cog for Chiefs

From 2014 to 2017, Hitchens was a mainstay on the Cowboys defense, playing over 50% of Dallas’ defensive snaps in his 60 appearance, according to Pro Football Reference. An interior linebacker first, Hitchens developed a knack for pursuing the ball and reading plays.

His final season in Dallas in 2017 was his strongest, despite missing four regular season games. His 59 solo tackles that season was the second-highest of his four years with the Cowboys, while he also added a forced fumble, two passes defended and a career-high nine tackles for loss.

Hitchens’ play earned him a five-year, $45 million contract with Kansas City, per Spotrac. His debut season with the Chiefs in 2018 saw the Iowa product crack 100+ combined tackles for the first time, amassing 135 in total.

Over four years with the Chiefs, Hitchens missed just six games, starting every game he appeared in for 59 starts. However, Kansas City set themselves up to bail out of Hitchens’ five-year deal, and the Chiefs elected to release the linebacker this past spring to save $8.44 million in cap space.


Cowboys Could Land LB for Cheap

A key part of Knox’s argument for Hitchens as a fit is his price. Off-ball linebackers haven’t been a high-priced commodity this offseason, and Knox mentions Minnesota Vikings star Jordan Hicks only getting $5 million a year this offseason.

While Hitchens commanded over $9 million per year while with the Chiefs, Knox thinks half that price could get the 30-year-old to return to Dallas.

“Dallas should be able to bring back Hitchens on a deal in the $4-5 million range,” Knox wrote. “Leaving enough flexibility to add a player like Suh or extend another key contributor—franchise-tagged tight end Dalton Schultz could be a candidate there.”

Dallas needs to conserve at least some of their cap space, but with an estimated $21.1 million available, a $4-5 million commitment isn’t out of the question. It’s now just a matter of if the Cowboys feel the need to add a linebacker before the fall.

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