The Dallas Cowboys continue to be the subject of offseason free-agent rumors. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport briefly created a buzz among Cowboys fans after reporting Bengals free-agent defensive tackle Geno Atkins was meeting with Dallas team doctor Dan Cooper in the coming weeks.
“Checking in on a top free agent: Ex-Bengals All-Pro and Pro Bowl DT Geno Atkins has a checkup with Cowboys team doctor Dan Cooper in a few weeks and is expected to be cleared from a torn rotator cuff by July 1, source said,” Rapoport noted on Twitter. “Multiple teams remain interested. He’ll be deliberate.”
Rapoport then sent a follow-up tweet to emphasize that Atkins was not formally visiting the Cowboys, but Cooper is doing a typical checkup since he performed the surgery. At the very least, the Cowboys will have all the information needed to make an informed decision on whether to pursue Atkins. The defensive tackle is recovering from shoulder surgery and played in eight games last season for the Bengals.
“Cowboys team physician Dr. Dan Cooper performed the surgery on Atkins,” Rapoport added. “To be clear, that’s why he’s doing the checkup. It’s not a Dallas visit.”
The Cowboys Already Added a Number of Defensive Tackles This Offseason
The Cowboys made a similar move last offseason by signing Gerald McCoy before releasing him in training camp after the defensive tackle sustained a season-ending injury. All indications so far this offseason are the Cowboys have no plans to bring back McCoy.
The Cowboys are hoping Trysten Hill can have a breakout season under new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. Dallas signed Carlos Watkins and also added a number of rookies who can fill the middle of the defensive line including Quinton Bohanna along with Osa Odighizuwa. Prior to last season, Atkins had been remarkably durable playing in 16 games for six straight seasons. Atkins notched 4.5 sacks, 47 tackles and 10 quarterback hits in 2019.
McCarthy on a Potential Late Roster Addition: ‘We’re Always Looking’
Rapoport did not specify whether the Cowboys were among the “multiple teams” interested in Atkins, but Jerry Jones is known for always being on the lookout for potential moves, especially if equipped with inside information on a player.
During an interview on The Chris Collinsworth Podcast, Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy was asked if the team could still make a splashy addition this offseason like signing Richard Sherman. McCarthy admitted the Cowboys are “always looking” to improve their roster but implied the franchise was inclined to see how their rookies perform in training camp.
“Well, the one thing we talk about all the time, we’re always looking, we’re always looking to upgrade and to add,” McCarthy responded. “There’s no question there, but also the salary cap, what’s in front of us, too is something that we’re very focused on, too. I think that’s why you saw, I mean, the 11 draft picks was by design. To be able to select, you know, we had 10 going in, but to be able to have 11 selections this year was very important just in the big picture and the long-term planning for our roster development. So, we’re always looking, but I definitely love the competition that we have on the backend. It’ll be fun to see how this all sorts out.”