The Cowboys’ roster needs help putting pressure on the passer.
Cowboys defenders past and present aren’t afraid to ask.
After defensive end Randy Gregory walked out of a verbal agreement with the Cowboys Tuesday morning in favor of Denver’s contract offer, fans began to wonder how Dallas would fill his hole at the starting right wing.
How about a homecoming for Von Miller, the Dallas native whose DeSoto High School is just 40 miles from the Cowboys’ headquarters at The Star? On the other hand, could veteran linebacker Bobby Wagner fit in Dallas after the Seahawks released him after 10 seasons?
Cowboys standout linebacker Micah Parsons, the 2021 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year unanimously, publicly pressured both targets.
He tagged each player in a tweet earlier, in his peak free agency recruiting form, and added three sets of eye emojis.
PLUS: Tom Brady’s surprising return to the NFL was a decision we should have seen coming
Then came the push from likely Hall of Fame pass-rusher DeMarcus Ware, who wreaked havoc on the Cowboys for nine years before teaming with Miller on the Broncos’ Super Bowl-winning team.
“It moves around the NFL: Russell Wilson goes to Denver, Randy Gregory goes to Denver,” Ware began. “There is a place that is missing in Dallas right now. I just spoke with Von Miller. Micah Parsons, DeMarcus Lawrence, and Von Miller. Sounds good to me!”
Ware chuckled as the video recording ended.
Miller commented on the video with her own “eyes” emoji.
Parsons, naturally, also opted for the eyes: six pairs on her Instagram story.
Miller turns 33 this month, but he was still highly productive in 2021, recording 9 1/2 sacks and a forced fumble in 15 regular-season games played for the Broncos and Rams. He also helped the Rams win Super Bowl 56 over the Bengals, his postseason production was four sacks, six tackles for loss and a forced fumble and recovery.
Miller has started 150 career games, recording 115.5 sacks, 540 tackles, 27 forced fumbles and 233 career quarterback hits.
Wagner brings a similarly consistent resume with 150 starts, 1,383 tackles, 78 quarterback hits and 60 pass deflections. The six-time All-Pro he helped lead the Seahawks to Super Bowl 48, during which current Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn orchestrated Seattle’s much-touted Legion of Boom defense.
The Cowboys freed up $13 million in salary-cap space Monday night when they re-signed left defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence to a new three-year deal worth $40 million, including $30 million guaranteed, USA confirmed. TODAY Sports a person with knowledge of the agreement. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized publicly to disclose details of the deal.
Would the Cowboys use available funds, including those released from the Lawrence restructuring, on a pass-rusher? It’s telling that they were willing to offer Gregory a five-year, $70 million deal with $28 million guaranteed before Gregory switched to a deal of the same value with Denver.
The Cowboys could also address the pass-rusher issue as early as the first round of the 2022 NFL draft, when they take the 24. Offensive line, wide receiver, tight end and linebacker will be additional positions that draw their attention.
Until then, Cowboys players and fans alike will wait for news about further clarity on the roster.
Like Parsons, they will keep their eyes peeled.
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Jori Epstein on Twitter @joriepstein.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Von Miller to the Dallas Cowboys? Micah Parsons, DeMarcus Ware Lobby