Despite NFL training camps starting in less than a month, star receiver Julio Jones is without a home and the Dallas Cowboys have plenty of cap space to make a run at the veteran playmaker. After trading Amari Cooper to the Browns this offseason, the Dallas wide receiver group still has question marks despite the team’s efforts to address the position.
It is one of the reasons Bookies.com’s Adam Thompson has the Cowboys as one of the favorites to land Jones in the latest free agency odds. Dallas is third at +550 just behind the Packers (+325) and Colts (+350) in the odds to sign Jones. Thompson gives the Cowboys an implied probability of 15.4% to land the seven-time Pro Bowler.
After ten seasons with the Falcons, Jones struggled in his first season away from Atlanta after being traded to the Titans. Jones had 31 receptions for 434 yards and one touchdown during his ten appearances for Tennessee in 2021.
The veteran wideout has struggled to stay on the field in recent years missing a combined 14 contests over the last two seasons. Less than a year after trading for Jones, Tennessee released the playmaker making him a free agent.
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Tolbert & Washington Are the Favorites to Compete as the Cowboys WR3
Despite the Cowboys losing Cooper, Dallas did address the position this offseason by drafting former South Alabama standout Jalen Tolbert and signing ex-Steelers wideout James Washington in free agency. The two players are the favorites to compete in training camp at the third receiver spot.
The Cowboys have made it clear that CeeDee Lamb will be given every opportunity to be the team’s new top receiver. Michael Gallup will slide over to be the team’s second wideout but is coming off a season-ending ACL injury.
Sports Illustrated’s Mike Fisher projects that Tolbert will begin the season as the Cowboys WR2. Washington is also still dealing with tendinitis, not a promising sign for the Cowboys offseason addition.
“Yes, we are jumping the rookie Tolbert to the No. 2 slot,” Fisher wrote on July 9. “Gallup’s health will eventually change that, and maybe Steelers ex Washington will do enough at camp to elevate himself as well. Tolbert (hamstring) will work in this camp; Washington is still dealing with tendinitis in his left foot.”
The Cowboys Could Lean on Jones’ Connection to Quinn
All this means the Cowboys enter training camp with plenty of question marks surrounding the receiver group. Dallas could lean on defensive coordinator Dan Quinn for intel on Jones as a potential fit for the Cowboys.
During their tenure together in Atlanta, Jones stood up for Quinn before he was ultimately fired, emphasizing that it was the Falcons players who were to blame for the team’s struggles rather than the head coach.
“The team knows (Jones) from the leading style that he is,” Quinn said in October 2019, per Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Orlando Ledbetter. “It is always important during the hardest moments that people step up and you are the strongest that you can be. He is such an impactful guy on this team, not just offensively. I think that is what is so unique about him. There are some guys who may just be a leader on the offense. Well, he is a leader on this football team.”
“…Often times he will do a lot behind the scenes one-on-one. When he goes in front of the entire group, it has a huge impact. It was what we needed at that time. I obviously have a ton of respect for him already both on and off the field.”
Years later, it may be time for Quinn to return the favor and push the Cowboys to add Jones. With more than $21 million in cap space, the Cowboys have plenty of money to take a chance by giving Jones a one-year flyer.