After signing two defensive linemen (Carlos Watkins, Brent Urban) in free agency, the Cowboys are passing on the opportunity to add two more: Maurice Hurst and Sheldon Richardson, both of whom are now available.
According to Mike Fisher of CowboysSI.com, the team did not put in a waiver claim for Hurst, formerly of the Las Vegas Raiders, and Richardson, formerly of the Cleveland Browns, is “not of particular interest, either.”
Opinions can change, and needs can force those changes. Dallas is presently reliant on youngsters Trysten Hill and Neville Gallimore to do most of the work inside. After the NFL Draft, maybe Dallas re-examines its thoughts here. Injuries down the line could do the same. But for now, the Cowboys fans and media who are of the opinion that Dallas should sign Richardson and/or Hurst hold a view not shared by the Cowboys personnel department.
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Background on Richardson
A 2013 first-round pick of the New York Jets, the 6-foot-3, 295-pound lineman has totaled 273 solo tackles, 58 tackles for loss, 92 quarterback hits, 31 sacks and 10 forced fumbles across 121 career games (118 starts), split across four NFL teams.
The Jets traded Richardson, 30, to the Seattle Seahawks in 2017; he went one-and-done in Seattle and signed with the Minnesota Vikings the following season. In 2019, Cleveland inked the Missouri product to a three-year, $36 million free-agent deal that included $21 million guaranteed. He made all 32 appearances for the Browns, recording 126 tackles (78 solo, nine for loss), 16 QB hits, 7.5 sacks, seven pass deflections, and four FFs.
Richardson — who earned Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2013 and was named to the Pro Bowl in 2014 — was released by the Browns on April 16 and has drawn little known interest on the open market, perhaps due to his history of off-field issues, Fisher speculated.
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Background on Hurst
The son of former New England Patriots cornerback Maurice Hurst, Junior entered the league in 2018 as a fifth-round choice of the Raiders. A consensus All-American at Michigan, he was expected to make an instant impact for Jon Gruden’s bunch. It never came close to materializing as planned.
Hurst posted a pedestrian 76 tackles (51 solo, eight for loss), 17 QB hits, eight sacks, and seven PBUs across 40 games in silver and black, only 17 of which were starts. His 2020 campaign was marred by a stint on the COVID-19 list. The Raiders waived him on April 15.
Turning 26 in May, Hurst figures to get a second chance, likely after the draft, from a forward-thinking coach who believes he can succeed where Vegas failed and harness vast untapped potential. The fact that Hurst went unclaimed on waivers, however, is not a great sign for his long-term professional outlook.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL