The Dallas Cowboys could be the perfect landing spot for a $57 million former Pro Bowler.
As noted by Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine, the Cowboys should target Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones via trade early on in the season. The 27-year-old Jones is a former Pro Bowl linebacker who has spent his entire career with the Falcons since he was drafted in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft. Outside of his 2018 season — when he was limited to just six games — Jones has racked up at least 100 tackles in every one of his seasons.
Restructured Contract Makes Jones Deal Enticing
Ballentine notes that Jones has been a name linked to Cowboys trade rumors in the past, but the move didn’t make sense from a financial perspective. With Atlanta restructuring Jones’ contract, the Cowboys would only owe the veteran linebacker just $1.1 million if they traded for him.
“That same deal made him nearly untradable, but the club recently agreed to a restructured pact that added three void years and converted $8.5 million into a bonus,” says Ballentine. “It also means that if a team did trade for the linebacker, he would only cost them $1.1 million, per Aaron Freeman of Locked On Falcons.”
The seventh-year linebacker is currently on injured reserve due to a shoulder injury, but he’s eligible to return after Week 4.
Needless to say, Jones could represent a major upgrade over current starter Leighton Vander Esch. According to Pro Football Focus, Jones posted at least a 73.7 defensive grade for three consecutive seasons between 2018 and 2020. However, his play dipped big time during the 2021 campaign, ranking as one of the worst defensive starters in the league with his 34.6 defensive grade.
Jones reuniting with his former head coach and current Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn could lead to Jones finding his former Pro Bowl form — especially considering he’ll be paired with reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year Micah Parsons.
“Deion Jones’ best days on the field came when Dan Quinn was the head coach with the Atlanta Falcons,” says Ballentine. “He was the head man when Jones finished third in Rookie of the Year voting in 2016 and made the Pro Bowl in 2017.”
The Cowboys’ defensive core is already loaded with young stars — Parsons and cornerback Trevon Diggs — adding Jones to the mix just adds another playmaker to the lineup.
Considering the Falcons are in full-scale rebuilding mode and the fact that Jones can be acquired at a bargain salary, Dallas should put together a trade offer for the star linebacker.
Cowboys ‘Interested’ in Contract Extension With Prescott
It looks like the Cowboys could be interested in a potential contract extension with Dak Prescott.
Hours after team owner Jerry Jones created headlines by indicating that the Cowboys could have a quarterback controversy on their hands, team EVP Stephen Jones echoed confidence in Prescott as Dallas’ quarterback of the future.
“Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones when asked on @1053thefan if they’d be interested in contract-extension talks with Dak Prescott right now: ‘Our quarterback is Dak Prescott. He’s our franchise quarterback. We’re always up for looking at anything with Dak,” reported Jon Machota of The Athletic.
Prescott is under contract through the 2024 season after signing a $160 million contract extension with $126 million guaranteed prior to the 2021 season.
If the Cowboys were to sign Prescott to a new contract, he’d be 32 years old at the start of the 2025 season.