The Pittsburgh Steelers have made some predictable moves this offseason, but here’s why their front office should take notes from the Dallas Cowboys.
It’s not often that I will say the Pittsburgh Steelers should take notes from other NFL teams. They have a successful head coach and a competent general manager who know how to produce wins. However, this offseason, maybe Pittsburgh would have been wise to take a note out of the Dallas Cowboys playbook.
Recently, the Cowboys signed 4-time Pro Bowl edge defender, Everson Griffen. Though the now 33-year old defender isn’t quite the same dominant force he used to be, he’s coming off an 8.0-sack season and a Pro Bowl appearance. In addition, Griffen finished 5th in the league with 54 pressures in 2019, according to Next Gen Stats.
While Griffen may not be an upgrade over Bud Dupree at this point in his career, the Cowboys were able to land a similar talent for a fraction of the price of what Pittsburgh paid Dupree.
Steelers should learn from these moves
I can understand why Pittsburgh wanted to lock up Dupree for the 2020 season, but nobody is going to convince me he’s worth the $15.828 million he is set to receive on the franchise tag this year. Despite his 11.5-sack season in 2019, Dupree ranked just 70th in pressures among NFL edge defenders and graded out as the 23rd best edge player in the league last year, according to Pro Football Focus.
But even with his subpar efficiency, the Steelers elected to make him a top-15 paid edge player in the league in 2020. In comparison, more productive and proven players like Danielle Hunter and Robert Quinn are making less.
This year alone, the Cowboys have brought in proven veterans for pennies on the dollar compared to Dupree:
Bud Dupree vs. #Cowboys off-season signings:
Everson Griffen – $5.81M
Aldon Smith – $1.35M
Gerald McCoy – $2.5M
Dontari Poe – $2.0M
Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix – $4.0M
2020 Total – $15.66
Bud Dupree – $15.828
Sometimes I really wish the #Steelers did business more like the Cowboys…
— Tommy Jaggi (@TommyJaggi) August 13, 2020
While it’s possible that none of these players will have the impact of one Bud Dupree this year, I would gladly take a combination of Aldon Smith and Everson Griffen for $7.16 million over just Dupree at $15.828.
The Steelers broke trend last year by making an in-season trade for Minkah Fitzpatrick – surrendering their first-round pick in the process. But despite that spontaneity, Pittsburgh made a much more predictable move in the offseason by giving the franchise tag to Bud Dupree.
We still have to wait and see how this will all play out. If Dupree takes another leap forward in 2020, then he will justify his hefty price tag. But if he doesn’t, fans will be wondering how else Pittsburgh could have spent their money this offseason.
With more quality football players like Everson Griffen currently being signed, Dupree’s contract looks even worse. Let’s hope the Steelers made the right move tagging Dupree in 2020.