Cowboys’ Jerry Jones Targeting Specific Position on NFL Trade Market

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones

Getty Cowboys owner Jerry Jones

Jerry Jones may not be done making moves.

After the Cowboys‘ owner/general manager acquired defensive end Michael Bennett, he told the Dallas Morning News that he’s seeking safety help — Jeff Heath’s successor, specifically — as the NFL trade deadline ticks closer.

Via the DMN:

Jones said nothing is on the table but he told the Star-Telegram that safety will be the area of focus if the Cowboys do make another move, possibly as a replacement for strong safety Jeff Heath.

Far and away the weakest link on the Cowboys’ defense, prone to coverage breakdowns and a general lack of athleticism opposite free safety Xavier Woods, Heath has logged 26 solo tackles and four pass deflection across all seven starts thus far this season.

The 28-year-old is in the final year of his contract, scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in March. He’s earning $2 million in base salary and counts $2.95 million against the salary cap.

Heath is hardly a financial albatross, but personnel-wise, he’s entirely replaceable — an addition-by-subtraction scenario where the Cowboys can add more dynamism and play-making ability to the secondary, even if Jones must reach into his pocketbook to do it.

He’ll have to move quickly, however, as the trading deadline expires at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

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Potential Safety Targets for Cowboys

Real life doesn’t work like Madden, so don’t expect any blockbuster deals from the Cowboys, who could look to use some of their $22.375 million in available cap room to sign walk-year quarterback Dak Prescott, wide receiver Amari Cooper and/or cornerback Byron Jones to contract extensions.

That being said, the popular dot to connect to Dallas is New York Jets stud Jamal Adams, a terrific young (24) player with an ultra-manageable contract ($645,000 and $735,000 cap hits in 2019 and 2020, respectively) and the type of skill set — and personality — to thrive in North Texas.

Adams signed a four-year rookie pact worth in excess of $22 million. The Cowboys would own his rights for this year and the next, and likely pick up his fifth-year option for 2022, his age-26 campaign.

Last year, Adams, who was born in Lewisville, Tx., liked a tweet linking him to the Cowboys, fueling speculation of a possible future marriage. The Jets are open to trading defensive cornerstones, evidenced by Monday’s deal shipping lineman Leonard Williams to the crosstown-rival Giants.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Sunday that in addition to Williams, New York was dangling safety Marcus Maye on the block. Schefter didn’t specify Adams’ standing within the organization.

Other names to monitor include Miami’s Reshad Jones and Arizona’s Patrick Peterson, a natural cornerback whom many feel can seamlessly convert to safety.

Cowboys Nearly Landed Leo Before Bennett?

The Cowboys made waves by striking a trade for Bennett, but they had an even bigger splash planned. Schefter reported Sunday that Dallas was among several teams that expressed an interest in acquiring Williams from the Jets.

Schefter wouldn’t rveal the level of the Cowboys’ diligence, saying only they eventually turned their attention to Bennett, “taking them out of the mix for Williams.” It’s likely that New York’s asking price was too high, and considering Bennett won’t start on the Cowboys’ defensive line, it made little sense to part with more significant capital, as Leo drew.

On Monday, Williams was shipped to the Giants in exchange for a 2020 third-round pick and 2021 fifth-rounder. Multiple reports have since confirmed that Dallas indeed poked around Williams but ultimately shied away from dealing for the former Pro Bowler.

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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL