If it’s been said once it’s been said a million times, the Cowboys need pass-rush help. As I laid out on Wednesday, however, do the Cowboys need to go to the deep end of the free agency pool to find help? After all they had one more sack than the Giants, who paid big money to keep Pierre-Paul and sign Olivier Vernon.
The Cowboys have committed big dollars to Tyrone Crawford, but injury and inconsistency have not led to the production they expected when they signed him to a five-year, $45 million extension. But there is a play-time component to consider should the Cowboys attempt to go after one of the better pass-rushers available.
Crawford played in 58.9 percent of the snaps last season, which was second-highest among Cowboys defensive linemen. He missed the final two games with a shoulder injury. Before the injury he checked in at 68 percent of the defensive snaps.
In order to get their money’s worth from a defensive end, 70 percent of the snaps should be the baseline. It would make no sense to pay a lot of guaranteed money to a pass-rusher and have him check in at 55 percent of the snaps.
Perry played in 58.6 percent of the snaps last season for the Packers. He missed two games because of a hand injury and has yet to play a full season. Before 2016, he never had more than four sacks in a season.
Injuries aside, the Cowboys also have to worry about the one-year wonder theory. Perhaps Perry’s injuries are a thing of the past and he is about to hit a level of play Jerry Hughes hit with Buffalo in 2013 and ’14 when he had 20 sacks and cashed in with a five-year, $45 million deal. In Anthony Spencer's first five years with the Cowboys, he had 21.5 sacks. The Cowboys put the franchise tag on him in 2012 and '13, paying him nearly $20 million. He had a career-high 11 sacks in 2012, but played in just one game the following season because of a knee injury.
So how do you come to the right price? In analysis done by the Spotrac, Perry is looking at a $8.5 million-a-year average based on comparable players in terms of age and production.
Perry could be a good fit for the Cowboys. He appears to be a hard worker, which is a must under Rod Marinelli. He also ranked 10th among edge defenders against the run, according to PFF. That’s a must for Marinelli, too.
It makes sense, but would the Cowboys use the dollars?