The Dallas Cowboys defense will look different in 2021 under new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, and one analyst wants the coach to reconnect with a familiar face. The Athletic’s Jon Machota has free-agent cornerback Richard Sherman on his list of possible fits for the Cowboys this offseason. Sherman played under Quinn with the Seahawks as part of the legendary Legion of Boom defense.
“NFL teams usually aren’t going out of their way to sign 33-year-old cornerbacks, but the five-time Pro Bowler was a major piece on Quinn’s defenses in Seattle If Dallas’ new DC wants a veteran to lead the back end of a young secondary, this could be a good fit,” Machota detailed.
Heading into free agency, Sherman admitted it would take a “miracle” for him to return to the 49ers. San Francisco has little cap space and a number of young players looking for contract extensions.
“If there’s some miracle that happens, then sure there’s an opening,” Sherman said in December 2020, per ESPN. “But there’s 40 free agents and they’ll probably have $30 million or less in cap and they have got to bring back Trent, who costs over $20 million. They have to pay Fred, who costs $18 million-plus a year. So anybody who knows the situation understands that.”
Sherman Called Quinn ‘One of the Best Defensive Minds in the Game’
During a 2019 interview with ESPN’s Vaughn McClure, Sherman praised Quinn for helping the Seahawks have one of the best defenses in franchise history. Sherman called Quinn “one of the best defensive minds in the game” indicating the two still have a strong relationship.
“We had two of our best years with him, and it was consistent,” Sherman told ESPN. “It was every game. Every game you’re at halftime you’re like, ‘Damn, that’s a hell of a thought. I didn’t even think to do that. We probably should shade over to this guy. We should blitz through this gap. Or we should just go, or stop blitzing.’ I think he’s one of the best defensive minds in the game.”
Sherman’s 2020 Was Defined by Injuries & Only Played in 5 Games
The biggest question with Sherman is his ability to stay healthy as the corner only played in five games last season with the Niners as he dealt with a lingering calf injury. Sherman is coming off a three-year, $27.1 million contract and made $8 million last season. It will be worth watching what Sherman can command on the open market but his recent season could work in the Cowboys’ favor in terms of a more favorable price tag.
Sherman is just one year removed from playing 15 games notching three interceptions and 11 pass deflections as part of a top NFL defense that made the Super Bowl. Fans can expect more changes to the Cowboys defense as the unit looks to recover from a disappointing 2020.
“I totally underestimated the impact of not being with the team early through the spring and through training camp,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told 105.3 The Fan, via DallasCowboys.com. “With the change in coaching, and if you will, especially on the defensive side of the line, if you will, a change in technique, a change in some philosophy there.”