The first and most important mission of the offseason for the Dallas Cowboys is now accomplished -- the club having signed two-time Pro Bowl quarterback Dak Prescott to a four-year, $160 million deal that includes record-setting numbers but is still over at least the next two seasons. This now shifts the focus to team-building around him, and while they work on what triggers to pull defensively, they've already begun turning screws on the offensive side of the ball.
One day after tendering wideout Cedrick Wilson, Jr. and re-signing Noah Brown, they've taken a swing at resolving their dire need for depth at swing tackle, agreeing to terms with Ty Nsekhe -- his agent announced -- on a one-year deal worth $1.75 million, including a $500,000 signing bonus, a source tells CBS Sports. Nsekhe joins the team in the wake of Cameron Erving heading to the Carolina Panthers on a two-year, $10 million deal that includes $8 million guaranteed. That was never going to be a price the Cowboys viewed as palatable for a veteran who played in just six games last season, with five starts, and was uneven in those appearances.
The signing of Erving in 2020 was the latest attempt to add a quality veteran at swing tackle, having a solid belief in the progress of Brandon Knight but seeing undrafted free agent Terence Steele fall wildly short of expectations after being thrust into the hellfire due to season-ending injury to both Tyron Smith and La'El Collins. Steele did show improvement as the regular season neared and met its conclusion, but the team isn't naive to the fact he needs more development before being asked to step in again.
Enter Nsekhe, who has plenty of experience getting the job done at the NFL level.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Nsekhe is Texas-raised, having graduated from Arlington Bowie High School in the Dallas Metroplex before going on to play at Texas State, making this a homecoming for the 35-year-old.
And while Nsekhe isn't the most decorated player in free agency, his gutsy football road that led him to finally ascend to the NFL ranks still fuels his desire to produce at a high level. After spending several seasons with the Washington Football Team, he became key in helping Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills on an impressive run that landed them in the AFC Championship, and Nsekhe hasn't played fewer than 10 regular season games since 2012 -- his first year in the league -- being active in 15 games last season.
He provides both quality play as a swing tackle and the durability to boot, two things the Cowboys severely lacked to the point they were finally forced to move perennial All-Pro guard Zack Martin out to right tackle to halt the turnstile. They don't want to do that again going forward, and Nsekhe provides them a much-needed stopgap for 2021, as they continue to develop Steele and others on the depth chart.
The Cowboys only need Nsekhe to be stout when called upon, while hoping the only time they need him is when Smith and/or Collins need a breather., and wit the addition of Nsekhe, the team can move on to more pressing needs -- i.e., defense. And if, for whatever reason, it doesn't work out with Nsekhe or they find a better option, cutting him only costs them the $500,00 signing bonus.
They like what he brings to the table, though.