Cowboys Urged to Sign Eagles’ Former 29-Year-Old Starter…

According to Matt Holder from Bleacher Report, the Dallas Cowboys might benefit from adding Zach Cunningham, a former Philadelphia Eagles starter, to their roster. Holder suggests this move because the Cowboys struggled in run defense last season, especially with Leighton Vander Esch’s retirement.

It was well-documented that the Cowboys’ defense struggled to stop the run once Leighton Vander Esch went down last season,” writes Holder. “That combined with Vander Esch’s history of neck injuries, led to him retiring in the offseason.”

Why the Cowboys Should Consider Zach Cunningham

The Cowboys ranked 16th when it comes to defending the run last season. While Dallas has since signed veteran Eric Kendricks to fill Vander Esch’s void, the Cowboys could still potentially use another established veteran on the roster. Rookie Marist Liufau projects as the other starting linebacker, while second-year man Damone Clark is the other starter. In other words, two of the Cowboys’ three starters at linebacker are new.

Last season, Cunningham started 10 out of 13 games for Philadelphia, accumulating 85 tackles, the third-highest on the team. Holder suggests that Cunningham could be a valuable addition alongside Kendricks, presenting him as a “good option.”

Holder highlights Cunningham’s availability and his track record as a quality run-stopper, citing his 70.7 run-defense grade from Pro Football Focus in 2023, along with his 85 total tackles in 13 games. He suggests that Cunningham, at 29 years old, would complement free-agent signing Eric Kendricks well in the defense’s second level. Additionally, Cunningham didn’t join the Eagles until during training camp last season, along with fellow veteran linebacker Myles Jack, to address Philadelphia’s linebacker depth following the departure of T.J. Edwards and Kyzir White in free agency.

A comparable situation might unfold this season if the Cowboys perceive their linebacker corps as lacking depth. Currently, their main backup linebackers – Buddy Johnson, Markquese Bell, and DeMarion Overshown – have only eight combined starts. Notably, Cunningham topped the NFL in tackles with 164 in 2020. Throughout his seven-year career, he has amassed 705 tackles, 23 pass deflections, four fumble recoveries, and 6.5 sacks in 95 games and 86 starts across stints with the Eagles, Houston Texans, and Tennessee.

Trey Lance More Confident Than Ever Entering Second Season With Cowboys

As Trey Lance prepares to enter his second season in Dallas, he’s more confident than ever before.

The former No. 3 overall draft pick will enter his first full training camp with the Cowboys after being acquired towards the end of last year’s preseason in a trade with the San Francisco 49ers. Lance will battle with longtime backup Cooper Rush for the No. 2 spot behind starter Dak Prescott.

Lance expressed a significant increase in confidence compared to when he entered the NFL, acknowledging the uncertainty most rookies face initially. Despite not taking a snap last season as the Cowboys’ third-string quarterback, the team brought him on board with the belief that he could make a meaningful contribution. If Lance manages to surpass Rush, who has been Prescott’s main backup in recent years, he would become the next in line if Prescott were to be sidelined due to injury.


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