Bobby Wagner is one of the two best linebackers of the decade. After 10 seasons and a staggering six first-team All-Pro nods, he’s looking for a new team. The Seattle Seahawks cut Wagner after trading franchise quarterback Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos. Meanwhile, the Dallas Cowboys have a need at the position, and Micah Parsons couldn’t dream of a better potential mentor than the Seahawks legend. Thus, the Cowboys would be wise to try and land a deal with Wagner in free agency.
The Dallas Cowboys need Bobby Wagner
It’s not only the Cowboys that could use Wagner. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn coached Wagner during the height of Seattle’s Legion of Boom days. Although Wagner is nearly 32 years old, he’s only just now starting to show some signs of slowing down.
Although his volume stats look outstanding, Wagner’s not quite the same spring chicken he once was. But he’s still arguably the most intelligent linebacker in the league, both as a run defender and coverage player. Aside from Parsons, the Cowboys don’t have a viable option at linebacker after Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch fizzled out in Dallas.
Micah Parsons doesn’t need Wagner, but he should want him
Parsons exploded onto the scene as a rookie in 2021, both as a traditional off-ball linebacker and pass rusher for Dallas. But what may be even more impressive is his never-ending love for the game. Parsons’ Twitter feed is filled with football content, and he’s open about his desire to be the best.
There’s no better way to go about that than bringing in the best to learn from his example. Wagner knows what it takes to sustain elite play at the NFL level.
Parsons is already an unbelievable talent, but he still has a ways to go as a coverage player. That is where Wagner’s value to Parsons and the Cowboys is at its highest. Wagner’s presence over the middle is a welcome commodity on a Cowboys defense that has struggled to field sufficient coverage linebackers.
On top of the mentorship aspect, Wagner’s ability to patrol the middle against the run allows Quinn to use Parsons in any and every way he desires. In 2021, Parsons was forced into linebacker duty or pass-rushing duty due to injury. Signing Wagner allows for freedom of movement.
Cowboys are lifeless during free agency, so why is Bobby Wagner different?
Like any organization in sports or the professional world, who you know is often as important as what you know. Although Wagner would be more expensive than guys like Damontae Kazee and Keanu Neal, the fact he played under Quinn previously means everything.
He’s a player Quinn will stand on the table to try and bring to Dallas. Jerry Jones always says he would write a blank check if it could guarantee the Cowboys a Super Bowl victory. We know that’s just lip service, but Wagner’s availability should be a call to action. Quinn and Kellen Moore won’t be around forever. Although the Cowboys are conservative in free agency, this would be the year to be even a hair more aggressive.
Over the Cap has a fantastic tool that calculates potential restructures and the money created in cap space with those moves. Although the Cowboys are currently $3 million in the red, they could create north of $48 million by doing simple restructures.
Before he was cut, Wagner was set to make the third-most money of any linebacker in 2022. Wagner will likely make well over what the Cowboys are usually comfortable spending, but if there were any season to be aggressive, it would be 2022 for Dallas.