OLB/DE in Cowboys' Mix

With free agency set to begin Monday, TheRanchReport.com brings you the latest on the Dallas Cowboys and what to look for this offseason.

The Dallas Cowboys are one of a handful of teams that are interested in signing Patriots OLB/DE Willie McGinest, TheRanchReport.com has learned. Cleveland, the New York Jets and San Diego are three other teams that have already shown interest.

McGinest is expected to be released by New England instead of receiving the $7 million to $8 million he's due next season.

Last season with the Patriots, McGinest recorded 62 total tackles and 6.0 sacks. But those numbers only tell part of the story.

The 12-year veteran seemed to get better as the year went on. In fact, he set an NFL-playoff record with 4.5 sacks against Jacksonville. He's also one of the vocal leaders in the Patriots' locker room and was an instrumental cog in three World Championships.

Still, the Patriots aren't going to be paying McGinest the kind of money his contract is calling for.

"I understood with the cap number I have I'd probably get unloaded," McGinest told the Boston Globe late last week. "I'm not worried about it. That's what I pay [agent] Gary [Uberstine] for. When it's time to talk business, we'll converse and make our decision. Until then, I'll wait for the next move from them."

The Cowboys would like to add a pass rushing specialist that can play in their 3-4 defensive scheme, which McGinest has done in New England. McGinest could also serve as a mentor to DeMarcus Ware.

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