Dallas Cowboys find themselves created by losing one of the best centers in the league -- the veteran calling it a career due to his continued battle with Guillain-Barre Syndrome. While they get things in order offensively, they're still strapped with making sure they do so on defense as well, and with a more fiery sense of urgency; and the addition of Gerald McCoy to the defensive line goes a long way to upgrading a unit that has struggled mightily recently., the
McCoy joins the Cowboys on a three-year, $18.3 million deal ($9 million guaranteed) that secures him through the 2022 season, and he's viewed as an immediate upgrade over a talented Maliek Collins, who signed on with the Las Vegas Raiders on a one-year contract. McCoy brings flexibility to Dallas, as he's able to produce from three different spots on the defensive front. Should the Cowboys -- or one of the several other nose tackles they're interested in -- they will have achieved their mission of beefing up that unit, freeing them up to handle other pressing matters in the 2020 NFL Draft.
For his part, McCoy couldn't be more elated to suit up in North Texas. The fit isn't simply perfect from the standpoint of fit, but it doesn't hurt to know his desire to play there is also a thing. When he got the call from the Cowboys, he jumped at the opportunity to hit quarterbacks and running backs for them in the future.
"Overall, it's the Star," he said to Sirius XM. "I grew up two and a half hours away in Oklahoma City. So, some portion of everybody at some point supported the Dallas Cowboys because it's all we had. The University of Oklahoma, which I ended up going to, was our NFL team.
"But the closest thing was the Dallas Cowboys. So that's just kind of what people went with. So it's almost like a dream come true to play for a team that I grew up watching and admired."
Having spent his entire career in the NFC South -- suiting up for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers -- McCoy finds himself on a different planet now. The Cowboys have often proven to literally be the biggest ratings draw for the NFL, and there's an added level of pressure that comes with wearing the star. McCoy is about to find that out the hard way, but he relishes the opportunity to help them try and turn the corner under new head coach Mike McCarthy.
"It's gonna be a lot of fun," he said. "I believe we're gonna make a lot of noise. Prime time. That's what Dallas is.
"America's Team. I've never been on a team of this magnitude. ...You mention the star and the Dallas Cowboys, they're on TV dang near every week."
And the 32-year-old already has a date circled on his calendar.
"The thing I'm most excited about, I have to be honest, is playing a Thanksgiving Day game," McCoy noted. "You grow up watching these games and you see Dallas plays one every year. This year I get to do it. It's going to be a lot of fun."
His new home in Dallas also works in his favor off of the field, thanks to its close proximity to his beloved aforementioned University of Oklahoma. That matters more than simply being able to easily attend games, but also because now those games will include his son, Marcellus Crutchfield, who McCoy announced would be one of the newest Sooners in 2020. And when throwing in the fact he's already a "big fan" of McCarthy, the signing becomes a win on all fronts for all involved.
"I've always been a big fan of coach McCarthy," McCoy told Josina Anderson of ESPN. "Had an opportunity to play for him at the Pro Bowl. Told him then how much of a big fan I was of him. My dad is a big fan of McCarthy.
"[I have] a lot of family in Dallas. It's going to be fun to be on America's Team."
Can a Cowboys team that constantly oscillated between great and average under Jason Garrett finally figure it all out and become champions under McCarthy? McCoy certainly believes so.
"They have so much talent," he said. "Unfortunately they couldn't put it together last year, but every year is different. I truly believe they have all the pieces necessary."
And count on him to log a high snap count in 2020, to help the cause.
"I have never rotated as much as I did last year in Carolina," McCoy admitted. "That's not what I was used to. I can play all game if I have to. ... I'm an every down guy.
"That hasn't changed, and I don't plan on it changing this year."
A father now gets to easily attend his son's games at his very own alma mater, play for a coach he's always been a fan of, on a team he's long dreamed about putting a jersey on for -- who also happens to desperately need his services. It's safe to say for both the Cowboys and McCoy, the stars truly did align this offseason.