The Dallas Cowboys loaded up on defensive talent in the draft, but it remains to be seen how many of the rookies will make an immediate impact. Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine suggests defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson would be a great addition for the Cowboys to help provide a bridge until some of the younger players are able to contribute.
“A team like the Dallas Cowboys could do worse than adding Richardson to their rotation,” Ballentine detailed. “They are going to rely on some young talent such as Neville Gallimore, Trysten Hill and newly drafted Osa Odighizuwa to take the next step, but Richardson is a more proven commodity than all three of them.”
Richardson was recently released by the Browns as a cap casualty, but the team has not ruled out a potential reunion. Ballentine also mentions the Colts as another potential fit for Richardson. The defensive tackle made the Pro Bowl in 2014 with the Jets, but spent the last two seasons with the Browns. The eight-year NFL starter posted 64 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 10 quarterback hits and a forced fumble in 16 games for the Browns last season.
The latest Dallas Cowboys news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Cowboys newsletter here!
Join Heavy on Cowboys!
Richardson Had an $11.9 Million Salary in 2020
The question is, as it has been all offseason for the Cowboys, what Richardson’s asking price will be in free agency. Richardson had an $11.9 million salary last season, well above the kind of money the Cowboys can afford.
The good news for Dallas is he is unlikely to find this type of deal in free agency, especially this offseason given the shrinking salary cap. Richardson could be looking to sign a one-year prove-it deal with hopes of finding a more lucrative long-term contract in 2022.
Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn held his first press conference in Dallas after the draft. Quinn admitted he did not mind the Cowboys using the draft to focus on defense but shot down the notion that he had a lot to do with the team going heavy on his side of the ball.
“No, it’s a Dallas Cowboys draft,” Quinn explained, per The Athletic’s Jon Machota. “I was glad with the process, but I still would have been happy if we came in here and had eight offensive players and three guys (on defense). I was happy with the process. It’s just how the board fell.”
The Cowboys Prioritized Size & Speed on Defense in the Draft
Quinn will have some familiar faces on the roster after the Cowboys signed ex-Falcons Keanu Neal and Damontae Kazee in free agency. The Cowboys focused on defensive players with size, speed and length in the draft. Quinn explained his thought process both for players and the Cowboys defense next season.
“I think when you assess everything, you want to make sure from an entire package that you’re versatile enough defensively to have different packages, and also for the different styles of offenses that you play,” Quinn noted, via The Athletic. “Just think of our league today, to some who are wide open and spreading it out, to some who will pack it in and run some option stuff, the Baltimores. So you want to have enough different players that you’re versatile enough to adapt to any offensive scheme. Some are going to play in three-wide-receiver sets. Some are going to play in two-tight-end sets.”