ESPN Projects Cowboys Star to Leave Dallas for Seahawks in Free Agency

Randy Gregory

Getty Randy Gregory and several other Dallas Cowboys defenders make a tackle.

As the NFL gets ready for the free agency window to fully open, the Dallas Cowboys are having to make the tough decisions on who to keep or let go.

Tight cap space restrictions and a talented roster mean that something has got to give, which is why reports of Dallas engaging in trade talks for players like wide receiver Amari Cooper and tackle La’el Collins are coming at no surprise.

There are also pending free agents that will either be re-signed or on their way, which is where defensive end Randy Gregory comes in. Gregory was a candidate for a franchise tag before the deadline, but the Cowboys elected to tag tight end Dalton Schultz.

Now, ESPN analyst Ben Linsey is making free agency fits and predictions for each team and believes Gregory heading north to the Seattle Seahawks makes a lot of sense.

Gregory is coming off six sacks and three forced fumbles in 11 games in 2021, which was encouraging but left him on the edge when it comes to getting a new contract or the tag.

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Why Gregory Fits on Seahawks

A change of pace could be good for the former Nebraska Cornhusker, as his time in the league and with the Cowboys has been plagued by off-field issues. Besides missing the entirety of the 2017 and 2019 seasons, Gregory has never appeared in more than 14 games in a single season.

More importantly, the Seahawks need an injection of pass-rushing talent. Linsey explains that they’re currently in desperate need of guys who can rack up pressures.

“The only teams with a lower team pressure rate than the Seahawks last season were the Lions and Falcons. No one on the team recorded more than 35 pressures on the season,” Linsey writes. “Gregory would certainly help as one of the better edge rushers on the free-agent market. He has had his issues staying on the field throughout his career, but Gregory has graded out in the 93rd percentile of all edge defenders in pass-rushing grade since 2020.”

From Seattle’s perspective, there is certainly risk to bringing in Gregory. But his best year as a Cowboy came this past season, and he’s been much better about staying on the field in recent years after drug and conduct issues.

Cowboys and Ex-Falcons Safety a Good Match, PFF Says

Besides pointing out the Gregory and Seahawks fit, Linsey also wrote about which free agent fits Dallas best. The answer comes in the form veteran safety Duron Harmon, who spent several years on the New England Patriots but was the starter for the Atlanta Falcons in 2021.

“The Cowboys will once again be in the market for a safety, and will likely look in the value section as they navigate one of the trickier salary-cap situations in the NFL,” Linsey writes. “Harmon’s physical skills and playmaking ability are on the decline at this stage of his career, but he showed this past season in Atlanta that he could still be a consistent coverage defender who limits big mistakes on the back end.”

PFR shows that Harmon brought down two interceptions and only had two missed tackles all year, but did give allow a 99.3 opposing QB rating in 2021. His completion percentage was around 72.5%, but it’s important to note that the Falcons’ pass defense struggled as a whole, which was actually mentioned in the blurb above about the Seahawks.

But as mentioned, Harmon’s appeal is that he will be affordable. Dallas is over the salary cap already by about $1.15 million, so saving money anywhere they can is a must.