Cowboys Urged to Make Run at Rival 3-Time Pro Bowler

Landon Collins

Getty Landon Collins (right) would be an intriguing addition for the Cowboys.

As the start of training camp nears on July 27, 2022, questions loom about whether the Dallas Cowboys will make any significant additions to the roster. The Cowboys have a projected $21 million in remaining cap space, per Spotrac but have been quiet since the draft ended in April.

Pro Football Focus’ Dallas Robinson labeled Commanders free agent defender Landon Collins as the one move the Cowboys need to make before the season kicks off. Robinson believes Collins could be an ideal replacement for Keanu Neal who bolted for the Buccaneers in free agency.

“Even after finishing third in expected points added per play in 2021, the Cowboys’ defense could use reinforcements in multiple areas,” Robinson wrote on June 29. “Dallas added veteran Dante Fowler Jr. and second-round pick Sam Williams to help on the edge. Of course, they could use another rusher to pair with DeMarcus Lawrence. The Cowboys don’t have a lot of depth at defensive tackle or cornerback, either.

“Collins, though, would fill a specific role as a hybrid safety/linebacker, taking the place of Keanu Neal, who signed with the Buccaneers. After spending the majority of his time in the box for Washington last year, Collins would have a similar job in Dallas. He’d be injury insurance for LB Leighton Vander Esch and the Cowboys’ safeties, and his presence should allow Micah Parsons to rush the passer more often.”

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Collins Earned a Disappointing 54.7 Grade From PFF in 2021

If pursued by Dallas, Collins would provide depth at both linebacker and safety. The Cowboys are familiar with Collins from his four seasons with the Giants and most recently, three years in Washington. Collins posted 81 tackles, seven tackles for loss, three sacks and two interceptions during his 13 appearances last season with the Commanders.

Since arriving in Washington, Collins has not been playing at the Pro Bowl level he displayed in New York to start his career. Collins has not graded above a 70 by Pro Football Focus since 2018 and earned a dismal 54.7 last season. If anyone is able to revive Collins’ career, it is Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn which makes the veteran worth a flyer on a one-year prove-it deal.

Will the Cowboys Make More Moves Before Training Camp?

The bigger question is whether the Cowboys will make another significant move, adding Collins or otherwise, before the start of the season. During draft week, Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones hinted that more signings were likely on the way this offseason. Instead, the Cowboys have $21 million remaining in their salary cap “pocket” that could go unused.

“I will say this, free agency’s not over,” Jones explained during the team’s April 26 pre-draft press conference. “There’s different waves of it and there’s still going to be opportunities to improve different areas of our team other than the draft or college free agency. I think that still can happen and probably will happen.

“I wouldn’t say we have any musts left in terms of having to take a particular position. At some point, obviously, you’d like to look up nine picks later and hope that you really helped yourself across the board in terms of not only improving yourself for frontline players but also depth and things of that nature. So, I don’t think we have any musts going into the draft.”

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