When the Dallas Cowboys signed DT La'Roi Glover (6'2, 285) back in March, you could easily make the case that it was the biggest free agent acquisition since Deion Sanders back in the mid 1990's.
After all, Glover was the NFL sack leader back in 2000, earning an all-pro selection from his defensive tackle spot for the New Orleans Saints.
And even last year, he was able to earn his second consecutive Pro Bowl selection after totaling 45 tackles, eight sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
The Cowboys as a team in 2001 recorded only 24 sacks, which was one shy of the club record for fewest sacks in a 16-game season.
Certainly, Glover came to Dallas with the expectation of being a crucial part to a team focused on winning.
"I went to Cleveland and Arizona and I didn't feel the same feeling as when I walked through the doors here," Glover said after signing a five-year, $22 million contract.
"There's something about the tradition, the organization. I can go on and on about men who I've met who had nothing but positive, winning experiences in this organization."
Glover, originally a fifth-round pick out of San Diego State by the Oakland Raiders in 1996, brings a whole different type of game to the Cowboys defensive line next season.
For one thing, he makes big plays. Whether its by getting pressure on the quarterback, or tackling a running back behind the line of scrimmage- he does it, and he does it as well as any player in the National Football League.
La'Roi is an extremely physical presence at the point of the attack, and because of his brute strength and quickness, he almost always commands a double team. That fact alone will allow other players such as Greg Ellis and Ebenezer Ekuban get to the quarterback much more often than they did last year.
And even though the Cowboys have yet to practice in pads, Glover has already begun to show his dominance in several of the most recent mini-camps.
"I'd say he lives up to his reputation alright," said Dave Campo. "We may not be in pads yet, but there aren't a whole of plays that we run where La'Roi isn't in the backfield."
Of course Jerry Jones has been more than thrilled with this acquisition. "Many thought he was the No.1 or No. 2 player available in free agency. It was just too much of an opportunity for us to pass up," said Jones.
Jones is right, he was one of the top impact players available in free agency this year, and Dallas was fortunate to scoop him up.
Fortunate, if you are a Cowboys' fan that is.
It will be the rest of the NFC East that has to deal with this one-man wrecking crew for the next 5 years, and if past performance is any indication of what's to come, look out.
In each year that Glover has finished with a single digit sack total, he has rebounded the following season with at least 10 sacks. And his total number of tackles have increased in each of those years as well.
That just has to make you look forward to next season that much more if you are a Cowboys' fan, doesn't it?
The Difference Maker: La'Roi Glover
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