Bobby Wagner won’t be unemployed for long. Having been unceremoniously released by the Seattle Seahawks days ahead of 2022 NFL free agency, the move sent shockwaves throughout the league and general managers clamoring to get Wagner and his agent on the phone. One such team is the Dallas Cowboys, who have now officially reached out to the six-time All-Pro linebacker and expressed interest in adding him to the roster — sources tell CBS Sports — a move driven largely by defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.
A player listed atop CBS Sports’ list of five the Cowboys must consider, it makes sense they’d at least feel him out.
Quinn coached Wagner as part of the famed Legion of Boom in Seattle and has always been complimentary of the eight-time Pro Bowler, at one point labeling him the best linebacker he’s ever coached. So once Wagner became available, Quinn began pounding the table to get a shot at landing him, and the Cowboys have at least obliged by way of contacting the future Hall of Famer with hopes of aligning him beside former first-round pick and first-year sensation Micah Parsons.
The obvious hurdle here, which should be of no surprise to anyone, is compensation. The front office in Dallas has perennially been adverse to spending top dollar in free agency, and that at times extends to their own in-house and/or homegrown talent. They’ve recently been in the headlines for entertaining trade calls (and possibly a release) of four-time Pro Bowl receiver Amari Cooper and after having asked star pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence to take a pay cut, of which he refused.
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They’ve since restructured the contracts on both quarterback Dak Prescott and offensive lineman Zack Martin, freeing up roughly $15 million in the process, but while they’re moving in the right direction, there’s still a lot of work to be done to not only get further into the green; but to also be able to make a palatable offer to Wagner, a player expected to command big money in a potential bidding war for his services.
Having successfully retained Quinn after several interviews for head coach positions around the league, the 2021 NFL Assistant Coach of the Year has a big ask, but it’s the right one, and all the Cowboys have to do is stop sitting on their wallet and pretending the cap is the problem — when the actual problem is not knowing how to massage it properly.