After the dust settled for DeMarcus Ware and Julius Peppers, the Dallas Cowboys now reportedly have a visit scheduled with Jared Allen, the “other” premiere pass rusher in the 2014 NFL free agency class. Dallas cut Ware and couldn’t land Peppers because both players required too much money, of which the Cowboys don’t have much these days due to their rough salary cap situation. Still, they’re considered a “wild card” in the Allen sweepstakes, but overpaying for a 31-year-old pass rusher wouldn’t be a smart move by Dallas.
Landing Allen to a reasonable contract would be huge for the Cowboys, but it’s unlikely because the five-time Pro Bowler has made it clear he’s out for a solid payday from a contender. Put simply, Dallas can’t offer him the payday and is a far cry from a contender, so why would Allen consider playing there?
Let’s clear something up right off the bat: Allen is not from Dallas; he was born there, but raised in California. If you were born in New York, but raised in Miami, you’re probably not a Jets fan. Thus, assuming Allen wants to play in Dallas because it’s “home” is ignorant.
With that out of the way, let’s look at how Allen would fit in with the Cowboys, assuming a “fair deal” could be met and assuming he considers the Cowboys “contenders,” which are both unlikely. Allen is on the wrong side of 30, but he’s recorded at least 11 sacks in the past seven seasons, dating back to his final season with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2007.
In fact, he’s tallied at least 11 sacks in eight of his 10 pro seasons, including 22 in 2011 — half a sack shy of the “official” NFL single-season record. That’s nothing at which to scoff and he would almost certainly be a perfect fit for the Cowboys’ defensive line, which has been left in shambles via free agency, although it was pretty bad in 2013 with all the players intact.
In Rod Marinelli’s 4-3 defense, Allen could be a playmaker as he has been in that scheme for the past decade and a positive influence on all the Cowboys’ young pass rushers who will see a lot more playing time this year by process of elimination. Put simply, signing Allen would be huge for Dallas, but only if he came at a bargain price, which is unlikely.
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