The Dallas Cowboys add to their linebacker depth, signing former Minnesota Viking Anthony Barr. He agreed to a one-year deal for $2 million but can max to $3 million.
With Micah Parsons in a versatile role as a pass-rusher and linebacker, Dallas needed an LB to pair with Leighton Vander Esch. To make room on the roster, the team cut LB Aaron Hansford, despite passing his physical.
A Look at Anthony Barr
Anthony Barr was drafted ninth overall in 2014 by the Minnesota Vikings out of UCLA. Starting in 98 career games, the 30-year-old compiled 495 tackles, 17.5 sacks, eight forced fumbles, and five interceptions in eight years. He has spent his entire NFL tenure with the Vikings and made four consecutive Pro Bowls from 2015-2018.
Barr hit the free agent market in 2019, where he agreed to a deal with the New York Jets. The five-year contract would have paid him $15 million per year, but he backed out and returned to Minnesota for less money.
In 2021, Barr missed the first four games after undergoing a procedure on his right knee. When he returned, he set a career-high three picks and added 72 tackles and 2.5 sacks.
Moving Forward With Anthony Barr
Barr reunites with former Minnesota defensive coordinator George Edwards. He is the Cowboys’ senior defensive assistant and coached the veteran LB for his first six seasons.
The signing of Barr provides Parsons to line up and aid the pass-rushing game more often. In addition, it adds flexibility to Dan Quinn’s defense, who primarily set up a three-safety, two-linebacker formation in 2021.
Dallas has LB Jabril Cox entering his second year in the league and coming off a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Although he has shown progression in training camp, the Cowboys needed to add linebackers. Barr was the best available and can serve as a mentor for Mike McCarthy’s LB core. Cox will most likely get demoted to the second-team unit.