Cowboys Veteran, Ex First-Round Pick Latest to Bolt for Commanders - Sport News

Cowboys Veteran, Ex First-Round Pick Latest to Bolt for Commanders

Another Dallas Cowboys veteran is bolting for the Washington Commanders.

Commanders Signing DE Dante Fowler : r/Dallas_Cowboys

Just hours after the Commanders signed key Cowboys veterans such as defensive end Dorance Armstrong and center Tyler Biadasz, Dallas’ division rival is plucking another one of their players. According to Jordan Schultz of Bleacher Report, the Commanders are signing pass rusher Dante Fowler.

“Free agent pass rusher Dante Fowler Jr. plans to sign with the #Commanders, sources tell @BleacherReport,” wrote Schultz on Tuesday, March 12. “Dan Quinn continues to bolster his defensive line.”

Dante Fowler’s Production Dipped in 2023

The 29-year-old Fowler had spent the past two seasons with the Cowboys, initially signing as a free agent during the 2022 offseason. The former No. 3 overall pick’s signing meant a reunion with his former head coach with the Atlanta Falcons, Dan Quinn. While playing under Dallas’ then-defensive coordinator, Fowler posted six sacks and 27 tackles in a productive reserve role during the 2022 season.

However, his production saw a major dip in 2023 despite not seeing a major decrease in snaps. He posted just 13 tackles to go along with four sacks this past season. Fowler appeared in 25% of the defensive snaps during the 2023 season compared to the 30% of the defensive snaps he played during the 2022 season.

Since entering the NFL as a high first-round draft pick in 2016, Fowler has shown flashes of greatness — he posted 11.5 sacks with the Los Angeles Rams during the 2019 season — but he’s never really been consistent. He hasn’t started a game since the 2021 season and has posted less than five sacks in five of his eight seasons in the league.

Across stints with the Cowboys, Rams, Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars, Fowler holds career totals of 45 sacks and 240 tackles in 125 games and 40 starts.

Fowler’s signing in Washington means Quinn — the new head coach in Washington — has now poached three of his former players from the Cowboys early on in free agency.

Armstrong — who posted 7.5 sacks this past season and 8.5 sacks during the 2022 season — signed a three-year deal worth a maximum value of $45 million. Meanwhile, Biadasz — who had started over the past three seasons — signed a three-year, $30 million deal with the Commanders.

Cowboys Outbid for Tony Pollard: Report

It looks like the Cowboys will be on the hunt for a new starting running back.

During the beginning of the NFL’s legal period for negotiations, Tony Pollard — who served as Dallas’ starter last season and was named to a Pro Bowl in 2022 — signed a three-year, $24 million deal with the Tennessee Titans, according to CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson.

However, that wasn’t without the Cowboys attempting to bring Pollard back for another season. According to a report from The Athletic’s Dianna Russini, Dallas was involved in the Pollard sweepstakes, only to be outbid by the Titans.

“The Dallas Cowboys were in on RB Tony Pollard,” Russini wrote in a March 11 message on X. “The Giants and Vikings had their eye on him too. He took the bigger payday with Tennessee, per sources.”

While Pollard didn’t exactly impress in his first season as a starter, he showed durability, starting all 17 games while racking up 1,005 rushing yards to go along with 55 receptions. His 307 total touches ranked sixth among players last season.

Had the Cowboys been able to re-sign Pollard, they likely would have paired him with a big complementary back in free agency or the draft.

Instead, Dallas will have to start fresh by either targeting one of the remaining veteran backs or selecting one in the 2024 NFL draft.

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