Cowboys owner Jerry Jones confirmed after Sunday’s blowout win over the Giants that the team never pursued the mercurial wide receiver, who joined the Patriots following his release from Oakland on Saturday.
For good reason, too, albeit in hindsight.
“We didn’t. You saw why (Sunday) with the play of those receivers. I’m really pleased with where we are at receiver. I didn’t think we’d go there,” Jones said, via The Athletic.
Head coach Jason Garrett was less verbose in addressing the lack of interest in Brown.
“We did not,” Garrett responded when asked if the club considered adding the seven-time Pro Bowler.
Jones’ confidence in his current personnel paid off against New York, as the Cowboys’ offense produced four touchdown passes from history-making quarterback Dak Prescott, two of which went to WRs Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb, acing his Dallas debut.
Second-year man Michael Gallup was the biggest benefactor despite not reaching the end zone. Gallup led the Cowboys with seven receptions for 158 yards, regularly exploiting an overwhelmed Giants secondary.
They can also beat you with their tight ends — both Jason Witten and Blake Jarwin caught TDs — just in case Cooper, Gallup, Cobb, Tavon Austin and Devin Smith are all blanketed.
“Fun — those guys are great,” Prescott said, per the team’s official website. “You get the ball in their hands quick, you see the results of it – a bunch of long plays. Runs after catch, broken tackles. We’re talented as long as we stay focused and keep getting better.”
One could question whether the Cowboys would have been better with Brown, an extremely dynamic receiver who brings more baggage than DFW airport.
Focused? That’s a different story entirely.
So, here we are, the Cowboys 1-0 and Brown now Bill Belichick’s problem.
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Moore to the Story
Perhaps Dallas made do without Brown because they didn’t want to upset the apple cart. New offensive coordinator Kellen Moore has the necessary horses to power his pass-heavy scheme, and fans couldn’t have asked for a better debut.
Unlike former OC Scott Linehan, the baby-faced, 30-year-old Moore employed pre-snap motion and inventive packages, such as stationing Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard together in the backfield, or splitting fullback Jamize Olawale out wide. He coaxed enough from Elliott (13 rushes, 53 yards, one touchdown), on a limited snap count, to keep New York guessing all afternoon at AT&T Stadium.
But the real story was Prescott, who, after claiming he felt better than ever entering a season, spoke his words into existence. He looked like a QB reborn, the shackles removed and the pigskin let loose. His effort was so captivating that owner Jerry Jones was forced to admit, essentially, that Prescott will break the bank — and soon.
Brown Gets Paid, Maybe
Although he technically signed a one-year, $15 million contract with the Patriots, Brown had a $20 million option tacked on for 2020, which would become fully guaranteed if exercised. Brown also received a $9 million signing bonus on the heavily-incentivized pact — small potatoes after losing millions in guarantees from the Raiders.
The Cowboys, who are negotiating new deals for Prescott and Cooper, were smart to avoid sinking additional money into a luxury position. The pie, as Jones likes to call it, is reserved for those who’ve earned a slice.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL