Cowboys Could Sign 7-Time Pro Bowl Receiver, Says Analyst

Mike McCarthy

Getty The Cowboys could pursue WR Julio Jones.

The Dallas Cowboys could target one of the most accomplished receivers in the NFL.

In a list compiled by Brian Martin of Blogging the Boys, Martin mentions three free agents who would be “great fits” for the Cowboys. The first name mentioned by Martin is none other than wide receiver Julio Jones. The seven-time Pro Bowler and five-time All-Pro selection remains a free agent following his release from the Tennessee Titans back in March.

Martin cites the Cowboys’ “unproven depth” behind CeeDee Lamb as a key reason for why Dallas should pursue Jones.

“Julio Jones is coming off arguably the worst two seasons of his professional career, but that shouldn’t prevent the Cowboys from bringing him on board,” says Martin. “Other than CeeDee Lamb, they have a lot of unproven depth at the receiver position until Michael Gallup returns to the starting lineup. Jones’ addition would not only upgrade the position, but also get them through until Gallup returns without having to put too much on the younger players shoulders.”

Why the Cowboys Should Pursue Jones

The Cowboys have major concerns at wide receiver entering the 2022 season. The league’s No. 1-ranked offense during the 2021 season possessed arguably the top receiving corps — Lamb, Amari Cooper, Cedrick Wilson and Michael Gallup — last year. However, the depth is no longer a strength of the team following the offseason departures of Cooper and Wilson.

Complicating matters is the injury of Gallup, who is still recovering from an ACL injury. Cowboys executive Stephen Jones previously stated that he expects Gallup to miss the first two or three games of the season due to the injury.

Jones is arguably the top free agent wide receiver available. Although the 33-year-old is coming off of his worst season, he could still contribute in a secondary role. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound receiver was limited to just 10 games last season due to injuries, but he still posted a very good offensive grade last season. According to Pro Football Focus, Jones posted a 74.2 offensive grade, ranking 34th among all receivers with at least 40 snaps.

While Jones’ 2021 grade certainly doesn’t replicate the elite type of grades he posted between 2014 and 2020 with the Atlanta Falcons — between 86.3 and 91.9 during that time frame — his offensive grade was better than any Cowboys receiver not named Lamb last season.

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How the Cowboys Can Sign Jones

Entering the month of July, there hasn’t been significant interest shown by any teams in signing the veteran receiver. The Indianapolis Colts could be a potential landing spot with Jones’ former quarterback, Matt Ryan, currently slinging passes there. Another potential destination is none other than the Green Bay Packers, as head coach Matt LaFleur served as the quarterbacks coach for the Falcons during the 2015-2016 seasons.

The Cowboys have over $21 million in available cap space and Jones is not coming close to signing a deal similar to his last one ($22 million annual salary). With the Cowboys allocating just $16.5 million of their salary cap to their receivers — ranking 24th in the league — it wouldn’t hurt for Dallas to sign Jones to an incentive-laden contract.

With the Cowboys seeking to hold off the Philadelphia Eagles — who added former Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Brown in the offseason — for NFC East supremacy, making a move for Jones may end up becoming a pivotal move down the road.

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