The Dallas Cowboys signed Anthony Barr, but so what? Let me tell you what it means for the cap, the defense and hopefully for Micah Parsons himself.
I can say this surprised me. I thought that the Dallas Cowboys were looking to add a wide receiver since James Washington injured his foot. Not sure that Anthony Barr can catch the ball regularly as a wide receiver though. I know he’s a good linebacker that can add depth to the linebacking corp that Micah Parsons already runs. The Athletic‘s Jon Machota reported the news that the Cowboys were signing the Minnesota Vikings Anthony Barr to a one-year deal on Wednesday last week.
I do think this is a very good get for the Cowboys considering that this will allow Parsons to move around a bit more and maybe not allow double teams to find him as easily. At 30 years old, Anthony Barr has 495 tackles with 17.5 sacks in his eight seasons with the Vikings. He was a starter in 11 games last season and had a career-high three interceptions. Also, he had 72 tackles and 2.5 sacks with two fumble recoveries. Just for comparison, Parsons last year had 64 solo tackles, 20 assisted tackles with 13 sacks, and three forced fumbles.
The Cap…What’s The Hit With Barr?
To understand this, you must understand that the Cowboys Executive Vice President and CEO Stephen Jones is making low-risk signings now. He avoided signing Gerald McCoy types to save money for someone the Cowboys really need. No, Barr is not that player. He’s more of the low-risk type like Jayron Kearse, Malik Hooker, and even Dante Fowler Jr. for under three million.
Jones is wanting to carry as much cap space as possible for signing young players like CeeDee Lamb and Trevon Diggs who are eligible for extensions after this season. And we can’t forget that Micah Parsons is going to need a new higher contract soon also. So it looks like Dallas will have around $20.5 million after this signing ($19.5 million if Barr hits all incentives) and the unused space can be rolled over to the next year’s league-wide cap totals.
Continuing Signing Lower Cost Players With Upsides
Will Jones be able to continue with this philosophy if the Cowboy fans start screaming to sign bigger-name players? I sure hope so. So far, he has been able to find very good players for relatively little money towards the cap. Bringing in the four-time Pro Bowl Anthony Barr from Minnesota Vikings is exactly what we need. Barr reportedly has a base salary of $2 million and incentives that could increase his salary up to $3 million total. We just don’t know what those incentives are yet. This makes him our second-most expensive free agent this off-season. I’ll take that every time. But just getting a good player for a good price doesn’t make him worth it.
Fitting into what our system does while being a good get for the right money is what we need to always strive for. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn shouldn’t have any trouble finding a role for this versatile linebacker beside Micah Parsons and Leighton Vander Esch. He has been both a pass rusher and an off-ball defender which is probably where he will be used as Parsons rushes the passer. Is Barr worth the money spent you ask? I think he definitely could be and want to watch him this preseason to see for myself. I want to hear the coaches talk him up and rely on him.
Barr Staying Healthy
Anthony Barr has been healing up from a knee injury this off season which will need to be watched. He hasn’t played an entire season since 2017. This was after making the Pro Bowl for the fourth straight year and having his best season while agreeing to a five year, $67.5 million deal. He’s only played in 13 games in the last two seasons combined. However, the good news is that last year while starting 11 games he has the numbers listed above including five pass deflections and three interceptions. These show that he can drop back into coverage when needed. But he needs to stay healthy for us to get our money-worth.
Can Barr Back Up Parsons Or Take Over In Case Of Injury?
I think he can. We definitely didn’t have anyone to do that last year and now just maybe we do. Coach Dan Quinn created this hybrid role for Micah Parsons. But, when you have a special player like Parsons then you may not have anyone that has his flexibility if he should need a break or get injured.
Well now, Dallas has a former Pro Bowler that can be a true second on the depth chart with the pass rush, drop back into coverage and run down a running back coming around the corner. Now it seems like we have the depth for every defensive position. Hopefully it is enough to hold teams while our offense jumps out to a lead.
I think this was a good pickup especially if Barr fits in as well as everyone seems to think he will. It helps us be sure that we can someone to step in for Parsons. That should make everyone feel better. However, I’m still worried though about the wide receiver position because we are pretty thin there since James Washington got injured. Of course, everyone is saying that Washington and Michael Gallup are coming back before the halfway point in the season. The problem is I’ve found that a lot of time during preseason people have their Cowboy blue glasses on and may not be being realistic with timetables.