NFL Rumors: Cowboys may target LB Devin White in free agency
For all of the flaws that the Dallas Cowboys saw crop up throughout the year, one of the biggest issues that the team faced was at the linebacker position. Once veteran Leighton Vander Esch went down for the season due to injury, there was a stark drop-off in the defense's ability to stifle opposing rushing attacks as Dan Quinn, now with the Commanders, tried to fill the void with inadequate personnel.
Especially with Vander Esch's long-term health outlook appearing a bit uncertain, that's a problem that the Cowboys can't ignore this offseason. Damone Clark is a fine depth piece but has struggled as a starter. And for as well as Markquese Bell has played as a converted safety, there is plenty of room for improvement there too.
Free agency might hold the keys for Dallas, however, at least of CBS Sports' Cody Benjamin is to be believed. The analyst offered landing spots for the top free agents in 2024. For the Cowboys, he had them landing one of the most polarizing players of the offseason, former Buccaneers first-round pick Devin White:
"Physically gifted but often debated for his inconsistent angles, White should still have a sizable market because of his upside. Dallas is never shy about adding big names..."
The possibility of adding White could well hinge on who the Cowboys ultimately decide to hire as their new defensive coordinator. At the same time, however, it'd be hard to turn down the untapped potential and raw athletic ability of White, who has often flashed his physical tools, but has still not put it all together technically at linebacker while in Tampa Bay.
What stands out, though, is the Cowboys haven't had a player of White's physical make-up in quite some time. Jaylon Smith was robbed of his athleticism by his bowl-game injury pre-draft, LVE has also been hampered by injury and has become more of an instinctive player than athletic freak.
White would represent in a change of the mold of linebacker that the Cowboys have been using. It would be a big swing to take, but also one where they payoff would be substantial.