The Dallas Cowboys acquired defensive end Robert Quinn from the Miami Dolphins on Thursday for a 2020 sixth-round pick.
Quinn, who visited The Star last week and also met with the New Orleans Saints, is getting a new one-year deal worth $8 million from the Cowboys and he can earn $1 million more in incentives, according to sources.
Quinn was set to make $11.8 million in the last year of his contract. Earlier in the month, the Dolphins paid Quinn a $1.12 million roster bonus and reportedly were willing to pay some of Quinn’s base salary to facilitate a trade. The Dolphins recently paid $5 million of the $7 million guaranteed to quarterback Ryan Tannehill as part of a trade to the Tennessee Titans.
The Dolphins, however, are not paying any of the money in Quinn’s new deal with the Cowboys, the sources said.
Like manna from pass rush heaven, defensive end Robert Quinn has landed with the Dallas Cowboys.
In desperate need for a quality speed rusher to bookend with the franchised DeMarcus Lawrence, the Cowboys gave the Miami Dolphins a 2020 sixth-round pick while they were able to cut Quinn’s base salary from $11.8 million to $8 million plus a little less than $1 million in incentives. It’s a one-year deal. Meanwhile, Lawrence will have to make d0 with $20.5 million in 2019 unless he can come to a long-term contract agreement with the Cowboys by mid-July. Both sides say a deal is doable but have yet to arrive at a meeting of the minds.
A bad back and shoulder issues have reduced the 6-4, 257-pound Quinn, an eight-year veteran, from a ferocious force to a reliable rusher. Still, he amassed 6.5 sacks, 15 quarterback hits and nine tackles for loss in 16 games last season. In 2013, perhaps his best season, Quinn posted 19 sacks, 34 quarterback hits and 23 tackles for loss while a St. Louis Ram.
A new defensive scheme implemented by new coach Brian Flores made Quinn, who will be 29 by the start of next season, expendable in Miami where the Dolphins have salary cap issues.
Aside from Lawrence, the only other defensive end on the Cowboys active roster last season had been Taco Charlton, who has yet to mature into the pass rusher the team hoped it was getting when they made him the 27th pick of the 2017 draft.
That’s because Randy Gregory has been suspended for violations of the NFL’s substance abuse policy with no known return date. And then there was the uber-talented and mega-troubled David Irving, also suspended for substance abuse and facing a domestic abuse claim by his ex-girlfriend. He had proven more trouble than he was worth. He announced he was retiring from the NFL at age 25 via an Instagram post.
With the addition of Quinn, new Cowboys for 2019 also include wide receiver Randall Cobb, who is penciled in to replace the departed Cole Beasley and safety George Iloka, who will man the position that seemed destined to be filled by Earl Thomas, who landed instead in Baltimore.
Question: By age, Robert Quinn shouldn’t be over the hill at all, but his best production is already a few years behind him. When you watched him on tape, how close is he to the player that could get you — I mean once he had 19.5 sacks — how close is he to a 10-12 sack guy?
Bryan Broaddus: I think he can still get between 8-10 sacks, absolutely.
I think, to me, what’s interesting about Robert Quinn is as he’s advanced in age he’s gotten a better understanding of how he needs to attack blockers. He still has the ability with the first-step quickness to get that arm — as being a right end — to get that left arm underneath a blocker, dip the shoulder and then be able to get to the level where the quarterback is. You don’t see him get pushed behind the quarterback very much. He, generally, will rush at the level he needs to be at. That’s the awareness you have in a player like that.
I think he’s gonna be a guy that’s gonna be able to hold the point of attack as a run player. To me, he’s not a guy who gets washed or anything like that. Really, the difference, [he has] similar traits you have with [DeMarcus] Lawrence, but he doesn’t play the run as well. He is a pass rusher through and through, but I like what I saw from him.
In watching the tape … they were playing the Packers. David Bakhtiari is the Pro Bowl tackle for the Packers there on the left side. The Packers thought enough of Quinn to put a tight end over there and a back over there too quite a bit during that game. The Patriots came back and were chipping a back on him as well. They obviously respect what he can do off the edge.
I think it’s one of those nice gets for the Cowboys. Didn’t really cost them very much as far as the compensation. And to get the salary reduced, I think, was a big thing too.