In a late-afternoon move Wednesday, the Cowboys were able to sign veteran linebacker Anthony Barr for practically a bargain. With this acquisition, they have achieved the objective of strengthening the defense and giving more hierarchy to a corps of linebackers that perhaps needed the help of someone with much more experience.
And it is that clearly the quality of Micah Parsons is not in doubt. However, he will only be entering his second year as a pro. So adding Barr to Dallas gives him that ingredient of experience that the position was looking for.
As already mentioned, the news was known in the afternoon, where the details of the new contract were revealed much later. In short, Anthony will be with the organization for one year and two million dollars. Of which they could go to three thanks to the incentives. Of course, in order to get Barr to Oxnard, the franchise had to release linebacker Aaron Hansford to give him a roster spot. So in the latter’s case, the undrafted agent will have to try his luck at some other organization.
New Cowboys LB Anthony Barr agreed to one-year contract with $2M base value, worth up to $3M when including incentives, person familiar with terms said. Left more money on table elsewhere for fit with George Edwards, Dan Quinn. Barr lives in Los Angeles. Now headed to Oxnard.
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) August 3, 2022
Now, getting the 30-year-old linebacker back with Barr could be a boon to the Cowboy defense. Since we are talking about a player who already has a total of eight years of experience in the league with the Minnesota Vikings. In addition to this, he was in four consecutive opportunities in the Pro Bowl, from 2015 to 2018.
However, Anthony arrives relatively cheap thanks to certain things that have happened in the last two years. For starters, in 2020 he tore his pectoral muscle during the second game of the season and missed the entire season with the Vikings. For the following year, he would make an appearance starting in week 5, but with all this, the Vikings failed to reach the postseason. Despite finishing second in the NFC North with an 8-9 record, it wasn’t enough to make the playoffs. Consequently, they would not renew Barr for the 2022 season.
Now that he has arrived in Dallas, Anthony could help the team in a variety of ways. First, his ability to charge and tackle is not in question, and he could easily take Parsons’ place at the position when the latter plays defensive end. Of course, the cowboy coaching staff has repeatedly implied that Micah won’t be on the defensive line permanently. Likewise, they could reverse the situation and have Barr work the lane, since he also has experience as a pass rusher.
Still, even though the Vikings’ defense wasn’t exactly the best in 2021, Barr put up decent numbers. He finished with 72 combined tackles, 2½ sacks from Mariscal, two fumbles recovered, five passes defensed and three interceptions. All this in a total of eleven appearances. Knowing the work of Dan Quinn, the veteran could see a lot of rotations in the campaign and become a fundamental element in the roster if he puts his mind to it.
Certainly, this takeover looks a lot like Malik Hooker’s last year. Don’t forget that the safety came to the organization when the guys were already in California practicing. The defensive back managed to stand out with the passing of the 2021 season and is currently a benchmark in the position. So much so, that he has had a second chance in his career and signed for two more years with the Cowboys.
Having been captain in Minnesota, Barr will undoubtedly bring hierarchy and experience to the group. However, it remains to be seen how he goes through Oxnard and what he can do in the linebacking corps. If things turn out well, we’ll be talking about a veteran helping a position that sorely needed someone with a lot of footing in the NFL. With this signing, Dallas may also consider bringing in an experienced receiver after James Washington’s injury. After all, they still have plenty of budget left over to make another high-end hire if they put their minds to it.