NFC Rival Has Not ‘Closed Door’ on Signing Ex-Vikings 4-Time Pro Bowler: Report

Anthony Barr

Getty The Cowboys have not "closed the door" on signing former Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr.

The Dallas Cowboys won’t let Anthony Barr‘s prospects in Dallas go quiet into the night.

After a report that ruled out Barr from joining the Cowboys entering training camp, another report has offered more insight into Dallas’ potential plans with the former Minnesota Vikings four-time Pro Bowler.

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Cowboys Have Not ‘Closed the Door’ on Signing Barr

The Cowboys have expressed their interest in Barr throughout the offseason. However, it seemed the organization was at an impasse in signing Barr after Dallas News beat reporter Calvin Watkins reported on July 25 that Dallas had “no plans to sign him” entering the first week of training camp.

“Cowboys have had a summer long interest in FA Anthony Barr but multiple sources said no plans to sign him at this stage,” Watkins tweeted.

But just three days later, the Cowboys have lit a fire under their younger linebackers by leveraging the prospect of Barr joining the Dallas ranks.

According to Clarence E. Hill Jr. of Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Cowboys general manager Stephen Jones hasn’t ruled out the idea of signing Barr but wants to wants to take a look at their younger linebackers before making a final decision on Barr.

“And although they opened training camp without making a move on Barr, vice president Stephen Jones said the four-time Pro Bowler remains a viable option,” Hill wrote. “He said the team wanted to take a look at second-year linebacker Jabril Cox and other linebackers in training camp before making a final decision on Barr, who has played eight seasons with the Minnesota Vikings.”

The Cowboys linebacker ranks remain one of the weak spots of their roster beyond Micah Parsons and Leighton Vander Esch. Dallas is also one of the least cap-constrained teams in the league, boasting the second-most available cap space of $22.4 million, per Over The Cap.

Barr is rumored to be a target for both Washington and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as well, but the Cowboys remain the favorite to land the four-time Pro Bowler, according to Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay.

“Leighton Vander Esch has a long history of ailments, Jabril Cox is coming off a torn ACL that limited him to just seven games as a rookie, Devante Bond will be out for 2022 after suffering a knee injury at OTAs and Damone Clark could miss a significant chunk of his rookie campaign as he works his way back from a neck issue,” Kay wrote. “While picking up a player like Barr, who has availability concerns of his own, may inject more risk into an already shaky linebacking corps. However, the potential of Barr returning to form makes the risk worth it, especially if they can get the 30-year-old on a cheap deal.”

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New Vikings Defense Could Install Barr

While Barr held a unique role in Mike Zimmer’s defense over the years, the wear and tear of a decade in the league have rendered him less effective than his Pro Bowl past.

Of the prospective teams in free agency vying for Barr, all the rumors have a unanimous ring that he’d help as a pass rusher — a role he never got to relish in Zimmer’s 4-3 scheme.

Barr played in a 3-4 base defense in college, tallying 23.5 sacks in his final two seasons of college. He was one of the most explosive pass rushers to play in college football at the time, leading to him being drafted ninth overall in 2014.

While Barr has lost a step, he could still provide some depth in the Vikings’ new 3-4 defense under Ed Donatell.

Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith are both coming off injuries as the team’s starting edge rushers. Third-year edge rusher D.J. Wonnum is the only other outside linebacker who has playing experience. Patrick Jones II, Zach McCloud, Andre Mintze, Janarius Robinson and Luiji Vilain have yet to register a single NFL snap.

Minnesota is either confident in its pass rushers beyond their top three in Hunter, Smith and Wonnum or should consider making a veteran signing.

And Barr should be a number the Vikings dial.

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