6-Time Pro Bowler Plans to Sign with Cowboys: Report

Cowboys Rumors

Getty Cowboys free agent Gerald McCoy is open to returning to the Bucs.

Gerald McCoy’s stay with the Dallas Cowboys was brief but signs are pointing to the defensive tackle finally playing in Big D. Sports Illustrated’s Mike Fisher reported that McCoy and the Cowboys are “planning on a 2021 reunion.”

McCoy signed with the Cowboys in free agency last March only to be released in August after sustaining a season-ending quadricep injury. Fisher detailed how the Cowboys were able to release McCoy thanks to an injury clause in his old deal.

“McCoy was signed to a three-year contract that included an injury escape clause due to an existing issue with his quadriceps. … and that is exactly where he sustained the injury, thus activating the clause,” Fisher detailed. “But there were no hard feelings, McCoy, even from his hospital bed, pitched in as a mentor to young teammates who he’d literally just met.”

Assuming a deal does not fall through, it will be worth watching what kind of contract McCoy signs. McCoy inked a three-year, $18.3 million deal with the Cowboys last offseason but may prefer a shorter contract this time around as he looks to increase his value with a healthy season.

McCoy Remained Involved with the Cowboys Despite Being Released

McCoy is a six-time Pro Bowler and an All-Pro but the question is what player the Cowboys will be getting on the field. Dallas’ veteran signings last offseason mostly underwhelmed during the 2020 season. Prior to missing all of last season, McCoy had been remarkably durable throughout his career playing in 15 or more games in three of his last four seasons. McCoy notched five sacks, 13 quarterback hits and 37 tackles in 16 starts with the Panthers in 2019.

The defensive tackle promised to mentor the Cowboys’ younger players despite no longer being on the roster. Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones mentioned McCoy as one of the reasons for optimism during a December interview on 105.3 The Fan.

“We obviously got a good group of guys on IR that we expect to make full recoveries next year that should make us a lot better football team,” Jones noted, per CBS Sports. “You talk about our two [starting] tackles, La’el [Collins] and Tyron [Smith]. You talk about [Dak Prescott]. You talk about two of your better defensive tackles in Trysten [Hill] and [Gerald] McCoy. There’s some opportunities out there that are going to return to us that should be a big help to us.”

Bringing Back McCoy Is Reportedly up to New Cowboys D.C. Dan Quinn

Nothing is official until McCoy signs a new deal but the return of the defensive tackle meshes with what both parties have said publicly. CBS Sports’ Patrick Walker reported on January 26 that the Cowboys wanted to bring back McCoy but would leave the decision up to new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.

“The front office is still very interested in seeing him return for a mulligan, as they’ve referenced a time or two, but sources tell CBS Sports they’ll put a pin in that discussion for the moment, while they mesh out what Quinn wants to see done on the defensive depth chart,” Walker noted. “This isn’t to say McCoy might not return to the Cowboys because there’s a solid chance he will, but there’s not only Quinn’s opinion/assessment to take into account here, but also newly-hired defensive line coach Aden Durde.”

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