Could Cowboys Sign Panthers’ Free Agent Frankie Luvu to Fix Linebacker Issues?

It is no secret that the Dallas Cowboys have serious needs heading into free agency.

Panthers Agree to Terms with Frankie Luvu | Carolina Blitz

With the defensive line and linebacker holes, alongside offensive tackle Tyron Smith hitting the open market, there’s a lot to get done for the Cowboys.

But with Dallas not known for being big spenders in free agency, instead opting for “bargain deals,” could it buck the trend this offseason?

After the back-and-forth on Jerry Jones’ “all-in” word salad, Cowboy Nation isn’t exactly sold on any big names coming to The Star. But CBS Sports’ Jared Dubin has undertaken a fun little free agent exercise and has played matchmaker with current free agents and NFC teams.

In doing so, Carolina Panthers linebacker Frankie Luvu is signed by the Cowboys.

“Is this one going to happen? Probably not! The Cowboys don’t really spend money on outside free agents anymore,” Dubin writes. “But they self-professedly want to get bigger bodies at linebacker after hiring Mike Zimmer to replace the departed Dan Quinn as defensive coordinator, and Luvu has the type of pass-rush ability that Zimmer can make strong use of from that position.”

Now, Dubin is likely right here as the Cowboys surely won’t be in the mood to fork out over $11 million APY on a linebacker in free agency (Luvu’s market value per is set at $11.2m).

Much of the Cowboys’ free agency moves will be predicated on what transpires over the next nine days with Dak Prescott’s contract. But for the sake of the argument, let’s say Dallas does and Luvu comes to town, and in doing so, the Cowboys get a versatile playmaker who can do it all.

Having played all 17 games this season, Luvu grabbed 5.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and had 10 tackles for loss and 11 quarterback hits while having 125 combined tackles.

For reference, those stats surpass Leighton Vander Esch’s career-highs in a given season (aside from 140 combined tackles in his rookie year).

Luvu is also good against the run, and often uses his high football IQ to track down running backs and halt them before big gains are made with his impressive speed a feature (something Dallas would welcome).

So while the move is unlikely due to the salary involved, Luvu could be a nice chess piece in Zimmer’s defense and beef up the Cowboys’ small linebacker core.

It might not happen, but the Cowboys should be thinking of making a phone call if they really want to give themselves a good shot at fixing their issues at the position.

Will Dallas really be all-in (whatever that means now)? Everyone has their doubts. But make a move like this, and the thought process might begin to shift.

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