Cowboys Sign Ex-Raiders Starter in Free Agency

Jerry Jones

Getty Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones speaks to fans in the offseason.

The Dallas Cowboys have made quite a few moves since free agency began, and now they’re adding a former Las Vegas Raiders starter to their ranks.

Trades for cornerback Stephon Gilmore and wide receiver Brandin Cooks have highlighted the Cowboys’ efforts, as have the re-signing of key players like defensive end Dante Fowler Jr., linebacker Leighton Vander Esch and safety Donovan Wilson.

In their latest move, Dallas is focusing on special teams. The team officially announced that they are signing former Raiders long snapper Trent Seig on March 22.

“The @dallascowboys signed the following players on Wednesday: DE Dante Fowler DE Takk McKinley LS Trent Sieg,” the team’s official PR account posted on Twitter.

Long snappers may not feel like an important position, but errors and issues on special teams can be a backbreaker for any team. With Seig, the Cowboys are getting a proven long snapper who held down the job for five seasons while with Las Vegas.

Seig is replacing 2-time Pro Bowl long snapper Jake McQuaide after an unfortunate campaign in 2022 that saw the veteran get injured midway through the season. McQuaide spent two seasons with Dallas, but recently signed with the Detroit Lions in free agency.

Cowboys Re-Sign Two Players Alongside Seig

Complementing the addition of Seig was the re-signing of two defensive linemen with Takk McKinley and Fowler returning to the Cowboys roster for another season. Both were first-year players with Dallas in 2022, and both have history with defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.

The two players worked under Quinn while with the Atlanta Falcons, although their arrivals and first years with the Cowboys have been significantly different.

Fowler was signed in the 2022 offseason and was always expected to be a significant contributor off the sidelines. He delivered on those expectations in a big way, totaling 6 sacks and two forced fumbles according to Pro Football Reference.

On the other hand, McKinley joined Dallas in mid-November after being released by the Los Angeles Rams a month prior. He was signed to the practice squad and never made the active list on gameday.

McKinley is a former first-round pick and has produced at the NFL level, namely his first two seasons in which he racked up 13 sacks. He did that under Quinn, so there’s hope to think he can rediscover that form in 2023.

Contract Details for Seig

With all the moves and restructures the Cowboys have made over the past month, cap space is a constant talking point. Long snapper contracts aren’t typically a talking point, but Dallas is getting a bit of a discount with Seig.

According to ESPN reporter Todd Archer, Seig’s deal falls under a “veteran salary benefit contract.”

“Trent Sieg contract breakdown: 1 year, $1.232 million Signing bonus: $152,500 Base salary $1.08 million,” Archer posted on Twitter. “This is a veteran salary benefit contract. Sieg will count $940,000 against the cap. He also has $250,000 of his base salary guaranteed.”

Deals for McKinley, Fowler Jr. and running back Rico Dowdle aren’t official yet. But with Spotrac’s numbers and Archer’s reporting, the estimated cap space number is $18.47 million before the official numbers on those deals are released.

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