Cowboys Could Add $26 Million Former Pro Bowler, Says Analyst

Yannick Ngakoue

Getty One analyst is pushing the Cowboys to sign pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue this offseason.

The Dallas Cowboys have one of the best NFL defenses and one analyst suggest an offseason move that could bolster the defensive line even more. The Athletic’s Bo Wulf outlined one potential free agency move for each team to make this offseason and has the Cowboys adding Colts pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue. Dallas is allowing just 17.6 points per game, the third fewest in the league.

“How else to respond to Dallas losing its league lead in sacks than to make a strength even stronger? The Cowboys’ streak of 24 games with a sack ended in their fortunate escape versus the Texans, dropping them one sack behind the league-leading Eagles,” Wulf wrote on December 13, 2022. “This week’s trip to Jacksonville now looks a little more dangerous than it did a week ago if the Cowboys are going to maintain hope of catching Philadelphia in the actual standings.

“Dak Prescott led the 98-yard, game-winning drive but is coming off his worst set of back-to-back games this season by EPA (expected points added) per dropback. For what it’s worth, December has traditionally been the worst month of his career, per TruMedia, with lows in EPA per dropback, completion percentage and yards per attempt.”

Ngakoue Has Had 8 or More Sacks in 7 Straight Seasons

Ngakoue is having a solid season with Indianapolis notching 8.5 sacks, 25 tackles, 14 quarterback hits, six tackles for loss and one forced fumble through his first 13 appearances. The 2017 Pro Bowler’s two-year, $26 million contract ends in 2022 making him one of the more intriguing available pass rushers in free agency.

Ngakoue has posted eight or more sacks in all seven of his NFL seasons. While Ngakoue would be a nice addition to Dan Quinn’s defense, Dallas will find it financially challenging to make any major roster moves via free agency.

According to Spotrac, the Cowboys are projected to have just $2.9 million in cap space for 2023. Dallas faces a number of decisions on their own free agents including Dalton Schultz, Anthony Brown, Leighton Vander Esch, Cooper Rush, Terence Steele and Tony Pollard. The Cowboys have also been reluctant in recent years to make big-money signings, instead focusing on re-signing their own players while going bargain shopping for available veterans.

Will Quinn Take a Head Coaching Job This Offseason?

There is a sense of urgency for the Cowboys this season not only given the key players that will hit free agency, but the potential turnover on the coaching staff as well. Quinn will once again be one of the top head coaching candidates, and it will be interesting to see if the Cowboys defensive coordinator will be willing to turn down jobs to remain in his current role for the second straight offseason. ESPN’s Dan Graziano reported that Quinn is among the candidates that the Panthers are considering making a run at for 2023.

“I continue to hear that Carolina Panthers team owner David Tepper is looking for a head coach with previous NFL head-coaching experience,” Graziano detailed on December 14. “…The list of potential candidates I’ve heard includes the likes of Marvin Lewis, Dan Quinn, Leslie Frazier, Frank Reich and of course everyone’s Hail Mary, Sean Payton. I also think you’ll hear the names of some of the popular offensive coordinators connected with Carolina.”