Cowboys Trade Rumors: Predicted Move for Falcons Star Receives Major Update

Deion Jones

Getty Deion Jones of the Atlanta Falcons tackles Sam Darnold of the Carolina Panthers.

The Dallas Cowboys have been predicted to make a major trade for an Atlanta Falcons star, but the possibility of it happening soon is in jeopardy.

After seeing the impact second-year linebacker Micah Parsons made as a pass-rusher last year, there was discussion that the Cowboys could sign another starter-quality linebacker to allow Parsons to line up on the line of scrimmage more.

Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine predicted that Dallas would trade for Falcons linebacker Deion Jones on May 6, creating buzz over a potential deal. However, Atlanta head coach Arthur Smith announced on May 26 that the 27-year-old underwent shoulder surgery and will miss the team’s offseason program.

NFL insider Ari Meirov relayed the news while also adding context about his contract and the rumors surrounding the linebacker.

#Falcons LB Deion Jones underwent shoulder surgery and will miss the offseason workout program. Jones carries a large $20M cap number this season and there have been some rumblings about his future in Atlanta,” Meirov posted on Twitter.

While it’s not unheard of for a team to still secure a trade during a player’s recovery, most teams stay away from making trades until they know the player has a clean bill of health. If the Cowboys are playing it the smart way, they’re likely out on Jones unless they make a last-second trade before the season starts.

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Jones’ Contract Would Be Tough for Cowboys

The primary reason a deal feels unlikely is timing. If the Cowboys are interested in adding an LB, then waiting for Jones to recover just to give up assets in a trade doesn’t make sense. The other problem is Jones’ salary.

As Meirov mentions, Jones’ cap hit in 2022 is just over $20 million, although his $5 million roster bonus has already been paid according to Spotrac. The Cowboys would still need to account for at least $9.64 million, which would take up the majority of their remaining $10.8 million in cap space.

While Dallas could technically make that work, it would further constrict them financially. Considering that the team is already having to get creative to work around quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott’s contracts, taking on another doesn’t seem like the smartest move.

Falcons Star Looking to Rebound

Ballentine’s prediction generated significant buzz around Jones as a potential addition, but even Ballentine mentions that Jones is coming off his worst season yet.

Jones had his best seasons with current Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, but it would still be a risk to bet on Quinn to resurrect Jones’ career.

“In 2017, Jones posted a PFF grade of 87.3 and was voted to the Pro Bowl as a second-year player,” Ballentine explained in his prediction. “Fast-forward to 2021, and Quinn is now the defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys. Jones, meanwhile, is coming off one of his worst seasons, posting a 34.6 grade with PFF.”

The prospect of Jones at his best should be attractive to any team, but the idea of committing $10+ million for a player that could put up another disappointing season should also make most teams, including Dallas, wary of making a move when the linebacker is recovered from surgery.

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