Dallas Cowboys talking to Pro Bowler K.J. Wright: Why it’s a perfect fit

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers

Pro Bowl linebacker K.J. Wright is among the top remaining players on the NFL free agent market. He’s been a central figure with the Seattle Seahawks over the past 10 seasons. He’s also unlikely to return to the Pacific Northwest.

Could Wright be a fit with a Dallas Cowboys team that has done well to find value in the second wave of free agency? It looks like the two sides are open to a marriage.

“The two sides have been talking for the last few days, sources tell us. Specific dollars have not been discussed,” Mike Fisher of Sports Illustrated reported recently. “The number of years that the long-time Seattle Seahawks standout might want has been discussed.”

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There’s a fit between K.J. Wright and the Dallas Cowboys

K.J. Wright, Dallas Cowboys
Jan 3, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Seattle Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright (50) against the San Francisco 49ers at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With this report as a backdrop, it actually makes perfect sense for both sides. The Cowboys have a major need at linebacker. Jaylon Smith struggled big time a season ago and was thought to be a potential salary cap casualty before a contract restructure.

Leighton Vander Esch has missed 13 games to injuries over the past two seasons after the Cowboys made him a first-round pick back in 2018. It’s not known whether they can rely on him to play at a high level and remain on the field. Meanwhile, two-time Pro Bowler Sean Lee is 34 years old and took on a reserve role a season ago. He’s nowhere near the player he once was.

Wright, 31 earned a Pro Bowl appearance with the Seahawks back in 2016. He has started 140 of the 144 games he’s appeared in since Seattle made the Mississippi State product a fourth-round pick back in 2011. He remains the longest-tenured member of a once-dominant unit.

Making K.J. Wright a brilliant fit for Dallas is the fact that he played under new Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn back in 2013 and 2014. That span saw the veteran linebacker record a combined 119 tackles, eight passes defended and three forced fumbles. He also helped the Seahawks to their only Super Bowl title following the 2013 campaign.

Dallas already signed former Atlanta Falcons Pro Bowl safety Keanu Neal with the expectation that he will move to linebacker. Obviously, the team is looking to upgrade this unit with players who previously performed well under Quinn. K.J. Wright would make sense to follow suit.