Halloween generally marks Jerry Jones’ point of peak transactional activity, and this year is shaping up to be no different.
“Specifically no,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan when asked if he’s targeting a certain position. “Generally, eyes wide open.”
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Dallas’ injury-ravaged roster could use reinforcements at various spots; an offensive lineman, tight end, linebacker, or defensive back would do the trick for a 2-4 club whose playoff hopes are kept alive by virtue of playing in the hopeless NFC East.
That Jones is a buyer rather than a seller indicates he still sees the Cowboys as championship-caliber despite losing several key pieces, not least of all franchise quarterback Dak Prescott, and piecing together one of the worst defenses in modern league history.
Jones has plenty of capital to rectify these issues, with nine 2021 draft picks and approximately $24.6 million in available salary-cap space, sixth-most in the NFL, per Spotrac.com.
If you know Jerry, you know it’s a near certainty the Cowboys will welcome a new member within the next nine days. And considering the on-field product, they’ll take any help they can get.
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Jerry’s Recent Track Record
Jones swung for the fences at the 2018 midseason point, trading a first-round choice to the Raiders for wide receiver Amari Cooper. The deal was widely hailed as Cooper has since established himself as the team’s alpha-dog pass-catcher. In 31 games with Dallas, the four-time Pro Bowler has notched 178 catches for 2,417 yards and 16 touchdowns.
The following year, the Cowboys acquired veteran defensive end Robert Quinn from the Miami Dolphins at the cost of a 2020 sixth-rounder. Quinn went on to lead the club in sacks (11.5) and spun his out-of-nowhere career resurgence into a five-year, $70 million free-agent deal from the Chicago Bears this past offseason.
Jones double-dipped at the 2019 deadline, shipping a conditional 2021 seventh-round selection to the New England Patriots in exchange for DE Michael Bennett. Bennett, who retired in July, provided a solid return on investment (four sacks) but his production paled in comparison to Quinn’s.
Dallas won’t bring aboard another after signing DL Dontari Poe, Everson Griffen, and Gerald McCoy (on injured reserve) and drafting Bradlee Anae and Neville Gallimore to pair with $105 million starter DeMarcus Lawrence. They remain deep in the defensive trenches despite losing 2019 second-rounder Trysten Hill (IR; torn ACL).
It’s a dart-throw, but tentatively expect Jones to land an offensive player. The O-line is begging for fresh blood in the absence of All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith (IR), starting right tackle La’el Collins (IR), center Joe Looney (short-term IR), and right guard Zack Martin (concussion), who won’t play Sunday at Washington. The group also is down fill-in LT Brandon Knight (knee surgery) for a few games, making the front-five a glaring priority for a potential trade.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL