Sources: Dallas Cowboys agree to deal with pass-rusher Dante Fowler Jr.

FRISCO, Texas -- Having lost Randy Gregory to the Denver Broncos at the start of the week, the Dallas Cowboys agreed to a one-year deal with Dante Fowler Jr., sources told ESPN.

Fowler, the former No. 3 overall pick of the 2016 draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars, has 35 career sacks but had just 7.5 in his two seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, which ultimately led to his release from the franchise in February.

Fowler and the Cowboys are hoping that a reunion with Dan Quinn, who started 2020 as the Falcons coach, can help get him back on track as a pass-rusher. A year ago, the Cowboys signed two former Quinn-coached players in Damontae Kazee and Keanu Neal, and both had productive roles on the defense last season.

After agreeing to a five-year, $70 million deal as free agency approached, Gregory opted out of the agreement to join the Denver Broncos on the same deal after not agreeing to some of the forfeiture language in the Dallas contract, sources said.

The Cowboys have since been able to retain Dorance Armstrong (two years, $12 million), Leighton Vander Esch (one year, $3 million) and added Fowler and wide receiver James Washington in part because of the money saved on the Gregory deal.

Fowler had taken a pay cut entering the 2021 season as part of a reconfigured contract and then failed to hit any of the incentives that were placed in the deal, playing in 14 games -- starting six -- and finishing with 4.5 sacks. Fowler led the Falcons in sacks, but Atlanta was last in the NFL in sacks with 18. In his two seasons in Atlanta, Fowler played in 28 games, starting 19, and registering 59 tackles and 7.5 sacks.

His most productive season was with the Los Angeles Rams in 2019, when he had 11.5 sacks -- the only time in his career he hit double-digit sacks.

ESPN's Michael Rothstein contributed to this report.