Well, the answer is simple: the relationships and potential of the team.
“Obviously I have a connection with [senior defensive assistant] George Edwards — being in Minnesota — we got really close while I was there, and we had success,” Barr said in his first media appearance at training camp. heard only good things about [Dan Quinn]and how it works.”
“And I think Dallas is a candidate. I wanted to be on a team that I think has a chance to win. I wanted the opportunity to play at a high level and I’m excited to be here. “
Barr and Edwards made a connection early in his NFL career, with the latter joining the Vikings as defensive coordinator in 2014 before selling the team by making the former their first-round pick (ninth overall) that same spring.
They would continue to make defensive music together from this point forward, as evidenced by his four Pro Bowl nominations before Edwards left Minnesota to join the Cowboys coaching staff.
Having missed just 11 games in his six seasons under Edwards, Barr recorded a total of 85 starts and, during that span, became one of the best linebackers in football.
“Glad to work with him again,” Barr said of his reunion with Edwards.
This main form (Optimus, if you will) is what Edwards, Quinn and Barr himself expect to see happen in Dallas, and the 30-year-old also has the added motivation of being on a contract. only one year, which means he will have to prove he still has the juice – much like what Malik Hooker did last season before signing a new contract in 2022. At this point, as Barr starts to camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) team roster, it’s not health related.
It’s because he needs to step up.
“I’ve been off the court for seven, eight months,” Barr said. “It’s just an acclimatization period. I’m feeling good. My body is feeling good. It’s about getting up to speed mentally, more than physically, and once I’m there I can get on with it. at work.”
So what will Barr’s role be?
On the face of it, it will be to use his versatility to allow Parsons to step in more often by pinning his ears back and launching himself towards the opposing quarterback. His covering abilities will certainly come in handy in this capacity, a player who had three interceptions and recorded five pass breakups in 11 starts last year.
His presence should not only make it harder to grab solely on Parsons, but Cox will now have a proven and ever-hard-hitting linebacker to glean insights and information as he prepares to become a big chunk of what Quinn is as well. plan to run in the future.
“I have an idea [of what my role will be]”, Barr said. “As I get started and camp gets going, I’ll have a better idea. … I’m just trying to be the best I can be for this team.
“I’m ready to do whatever I’m asked to do to help the team go out there and get some wins. I’m a smart player, a capable player and I’m sure [Quinn] find some ways to use me.”
And you can bet your bottom dollar that he can’t wait to play alongside a talent like Parsons.
“I’m just going to try to help him continue to unlock his game and be the best player he can be,” Barr added, his tone culminating with a hint of excitement as he discusses his vision for Parsons. “He got off to a great start last year – what he’s been able to achieve is pretty amazing. And I think he can just keep elevating and taking it to the next level. I hope to be a tool, a resource for him, but also learning from him and the other guys.”
Barr is healthy, motivated and instantly improves an already good defensive unit that was often top 3 in the NFL in many categories.
“I come humbled and ready to learn, and ready to help.”