The Dallas Cowboys could serve as an optimal destination for one of the premier defensive tackles in the NFL.
Per the recommendation of Brad Gagnon from Bleacher Report, the Cowboys ought to actively pursue the acquisition of Chris Johnson, the defensive tackle from the Kansas City Chiefs. Presently, Jones is abstaining from participation due to a contractual dispute and his aspiration for a new agreement that would see him earn a staggering $30 million per annum. It’s worth noting that Jones currently finds himself in the final year of a contract that promises him $20 million for this season.
Gagnon asserts that bringing Jones into the fold would mark a substantial enhancement in the interior defensive lineup. Gagnon alludes to the notion that offering a first-round draft selection should suffice as the necessary capital for securing Jones.
Gagnon articulates, “Securing Jones would likely necessitate parting with a first-round draft pick, and potentially involving third-year starter Osa Odighizuwa in the deal. However, the transformative impact he could have in that role is immeasurable. Should Dallas believe that his addition can genuinely propel them towards a Super Bowl victory (bearing in mind that the pick would be at the bottom of the first round under these circumstances), it unquestionably justifies the investment.”
Cowboys Possess Financial Leeway to Pursue Chris Jones
Moreover, the Cowboys’ substantial surplus of salary cap resources, as indicated by Spotrac—an impressive $17.7 million in cap space, ranking them sixth among all NFL teams—ought to be a compelling factor enticing them to make a move for Jones. This comes at a juncture when Dallas embarks on a season with high stakes, effectively seen as a “Super Bowl or bust” campaign under the stewardship of Dak Prescott and Mike McCarthy.
Gagnon notes, “Certainly, the pressure is palpable for Mike McCarthy, Dak Prescott, and their comrades. Spotrac’s data reveals that they possess more financial flexibility than all but five other NFL franchises. This financial maneuverability enables them to absorb Jones’ projected cap charge of $20.8 million seamlessly.”
To affirm that Jones would constitute a significant improvement over the Cowboys’ existing pair of seasoned defensive tackles, Johnathan Hankins and Osa Odighizuwa, is an understatement. According to the assessments of Pro Football Focus, Jones garnered a remarkable 92.0 defensive grade and a 92.2 pass-rushing grade during the preceding season. Both these scores ranked him second among all defensive tackles in the league.
By contrast, Odighizuwa registered a modest 68.2 defensive grade, while Hankins posted an even lower score of 46.5 during the same season.
Furthermore, Jones boasts an impressive track record as a two-time Super Bowl champion, a four-time All-Pro selection, and a four-time Pro Bowl attendee. Outside of Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams, Jones stands as the most decorated defensive tackle in the entire NFL.
Chiefs Remain Resolute in Securing Chris Jones’ Contract
The Cowboys have already orchestrated three substantial trades in the current offseason, securing the services of Brandin Cooks, Stephon Gilmore, and Trey Lance in recent transactions. In essence, if there exists any contender in the league likely to engage in another significant trade before the October 31st deadline, it is undeniably Dallas.
However, it is essential to acknowledge that the Chiefs have consistently emphasized their unwavering commitment to retaining Jones. Since the commencement of training camp in late July, Jones has held out. Notwithstanding his absence, Kansas City’s general manager, Brett Veach, has stated that the optimal outcome would be for Jones to conclude his career as a Chief, ensuring his financial stability while achieving the team’s objectives.
Veach elucidated, “For the benefit of all parties involved, the most desirable resolution would involve Jones concluding his career as a Chief, securing his financial future, and us adhering to our original plan. That is, navigating through last offseason with this upcoming season in mind, assembling young talents, which we successfully executed, and focusing on the current year with the aim of securing Chris Jones’ future. We aspire to reach an amicable resolution, but it should be clear that we harbor no intentions of facilitating a trade.”
Based on Veach’s pronouncements, it appears that the Chiefs are firmly committed to reaching an agreement rather than entertaining the notion of trading their preeminent defensive stalwart.
Nevertheless, if the Chiefs opt for a different course and entertain trade possibilities for Jones, the Cowboys could emerge as the foremost contender for his services.
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