The Dallas Cowboys have been linked to Tampa Bay Buccaneers free-agent pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul throughout the offseason. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Cowboys appear to be less likely to sign Pierre-Paul following the draft.
“Quinn did a ton of homework on fast, quick players with pass-rush production,” Fowler wrote on May 9, 2022. “That led the Cowboys to second-round pick Sam Williams (No. 56), who will work his way into the D-line rotation. Dallas now feels it has at least six capable edge rushers. At one point, it had some interest in veteran Jason Pierre-Paul, but the draft might have changed those plans.”
Fowler previously reported on March 20 that the Cowboys had an interest in adding the veteran pass rusher. Pierre-Paul is coming off a down year by the three-time Pro Bowler’s standards after battling through multiple injuries in 2021 and remains unsigned.
“Cowboys could go with multiple veteran pass-rushers in free agency to help offset loss of Randy Gregory,” Fowler tweeted on March 20. “They’ve got Dante Fowler in the fold, and there’s interest in Jason Pierre-Paul, as well.”
ALL the latest Dallas Cowboys news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Cowboys newsletter here!
Pierre-Paul Notched 9.5 Sacks, 55 Tackles, 4 Forced Fumbles & 2 Interceptions in 2020
The Bucs defender notched 31 tackles, five quarterback hits, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble during his 12 appearances in 2021. Pierre-Paul is just one year removed from scoring 9.5 sacks, 55 tackles, 14 quarterback hits, six pass deflections, four forced fumbles and two interceptions during the Buccaneers’ Super Bowl run in 2020.
It remains to be seen if the Cowboys will get more aggressive in their pursuit of Pierre-Paul but the longer the pass rusher remains on the market there is a better chance Dallas may be able to land the former All-Pro on a bargain deal. Fowler noted that defensive coordinator Dan Quinn’s handprint could be felt for the second straight Cowboys draft.
“The Cowboys were dedicated to bolstering coordinator Dan Quinn’s defense up front,” Fowler detailed. “Though offensive line was a major need, which Dallas filled in the first round with tackle Tyler Smith, the Cowboys loved the momentum built by Quinn’s unit in 2021, and they want to see that through in a major way.”
The Cowboys Are Leaving the Door Open for Additional Free-Agent Signings
Many Cowboys fans have been frustrated by a quiet offseason in terms of major additions to the roster. The Dallas front office continues to insist that they are not done making moves with many appealing veterans remaining unsigned.
“I will say this, free agency’s not over,” Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones explained during the team’s April 26 pre-draft press conference. “There’s different waves of it and there’s still going to be opportunities to improve different areas of our team other than the draft or college free agency. I think that still can happen and probably will happen.
“I wouldn’t say we have any musts left in terms of having to take a particular position. At some point, obviously, you’d like to look up nine picks later and hope that you really helped yourself across the board in terms of not only improving yourself for frontline players but also depth and things of that nature. So, I don’t think we have any musts going into the draft.”