Cowboys Could Land Imposing 4-Time Pro Bowl Star, Says Analyst

Anthony Barr

Getty Anthony Barr pictured with mother Lori Barr at the 2022 NFL Honors.

The Dallas Cowboys continue to be linked to Minnesota Vikings free-agent defender Anthony Barr. This time it is ESPN’s Matt Bowen pointing to the Cowboys as the best landing spot for the 6’5″, 257-pound linebacker.

“There is a premium on second-level players with sub-package traits in Dan Quinn’s defensive system,” Bowen explained on June 2, 2022. “The Cowboys played a league-low 11 snaps of base defense in 2021. Enter Barr, who has the three-down ability to drop in coverage, pressure the QB and/or track the ball in the run game.

“While I don’t see high-level impact ability with Barr at this stage of his career, he can be schemed-up in Quinn’s defense as a blitzer, and we know he has the ability to match/carry underneath in coverage. Barr picked off three passes last season in Minnesota.”

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Cowboys Have ‘Definite Interest’ in Barr: Report

There is more than just speculation linking Barr to the Cowboys as Star-Telegram’s Clarence Hill reported on May 14 that there was “definite interest” from Dallas. Hill added that the Cowboys are intrigued by Barr but only at the right price.

“Free agent linebacker Anthony Barr is a free agent option for the Cowboys, if the price right, per source,” Hill tweeted. “There definite interest there.”

It remains to be seen what this price would be, but Dallas could end up with a bargain on Barr the longer free agency continues without the linebacker signing a new deal. Heading free agency, Pro Football Focus projected Barr would land a two-year, $14.5 million contract which included $8.5 million of guaranteed money as their No. 78 ranked free agent. According to Spotrac, the Cowboys still have a sizable amount of remaining cap space with a projected $20 million.

Barr Only Played in 13 Games the Last 2 Seasons

PFF has been critical of Barr in recent years as the linebacker has not earned a grade of 70 or more since 2018. Barr scored a 62.9 grade in 2021 and a dismal 47.5 two seasons ago.

It is worth noting that Barr battled injuries during both seasons only appearing in 13 games over the last two years. Barr notched 72 tackles, six quarterback hits, 2.5 sacks, five pass deflections and three interceptions during his 11 appearances in 2021.

Bowen is not the only analyst who sees the Cowboys as a fit with ESPN’s Bill Barnwell predicting earlier this offseason that Barr would ultimately land in Dallas. Barnwell views Barr as the perfect running mate alongside Micah Parsons and a potential replacement for Randy Gregory.

“Now that he’s a free agent, what if a team took a chance on using Barr in more of a hybrid role?” Barnwell wrote on May 12. “We saw the Cowboys unlock something truly special from Micah Parsons by using their 2020 first-round pick as both an off-ball linebacker and an edge rusher a year ago. Barr isn’t Parsons, but after Dallas lost Randy Gregory this past offseason, Barr would give the Cowboys another eligible rusher who is also capable of playing a more traditional linebacker role.

“Barr and Leighton Vander Esch would each be leverage against the other’s injury history, and senior Cowboys defensive assistant George Edwards served as Barr’s defensive coordinator between 2014 and 2019.”