Cowboys Pushed to Upgrade With Bills’ ‘Productive’ 131-Game Starter

DaQuon Jones

Getty The Cowboys could be an ideal destination for DT DaQuon Jones.

The Dallas Cowboys could look to upgrade with a “productive” veteran interior lineman.

As suggested by Bleacher Report’s NFL staff, one area of improvement the Cowboys could look towards in free agency is at defensive tackle. One particular player considered is none other than Buffalo Bills defensive tackle DaQuan Jones. The 31-year-old Jones is in the midst of his 10th season, with 131 games of starting experience under his belt.

While Jones is currently dealing with a torn pectoral muscle suffered in Week 5 against the Jacksonville Jaguars — he could be sidelined for the remainder of the season — Bleacher Report suggests that the Cowboys should consider signing Jones during the 2024 offseason with starter Johnathan Hankins and backup Neville Gallimore hitting free agency.

“Defensive tackle is one potential area of improvement for Dallas’ defense this offseason, especially since Johnathan Hankins and Neville Gallimore are scheduled to hit free agency. “They could at least use a depth piece or two, but Jerry Jones will need to be economical on the open market as Spotrac estimates they’ll be in the hole for cap space this March.”


Cowboys Lacking Salary Cap Space Entering 2024

The suggestion that the Cowboys will be limited in cap space entering the offseason is reasonable. According to Spotrac, Dallas is estimated to be nearly $10 million over the cap in 2024, ranked 25th in the NFL among all teams. That’s not even factoring looming contract extensions for key players such as linebacker Micah Parsons and quarterback Dak Prescott. In Prescott’s case, his projected market value is $48.4 million per year.

With limited cap space and looming contract extensions ahead, the Cowboys will likely aim for cheap options in free agency. That’s where a productive veteran — he’s never garnered an All-Pro or Pro Bowl appearance — such as Jones comes into play.

“At 32 years old, Jones might be willing to take a cheaper contract to stay on a contending team like the Cowboys. He’s also been productive during the early stages of 2023 with 2.5 sacks and five QB hits during the Bills’ first four games. It doesn’t hurt that the veteran defensive lineman has earned a good run-defense grade from Pro Football Focus, too.”


DaQuan Jones Could Take Discount to Play for Super Bowl Contender

Jones is currently in the midst of a two-year, $14 million deal with the Bills. Throughout Jones’ 10-year career in the NFL, he’s never earned more than $7 million per season. According to OverTheCap’s contract valuation of Jones based upon his play this season, he’s valued at nearly $8.5 million per season.

However, as Bleacher Report suggests, Jones could take a discount as he enters his age-32 season for an opportunity at winning a Super Bowl. Jones — who has also played for the Tennessee Titans and Carolina Panthers — has played on some contending teams in his career. However, he’s never played in a Super Bowl. Playing for Dallas could give him that opportunity.

Prior to his injury in Week 5, Jones had been one of the more durable starters in the NFL. Since emerging as a starter during the 2015 season, Jones has missed a total of just five games. Furthermore, Jones’ defensive units have ranked within the top five in rushing yards allowed in three of the past six seasons.

If the Cowboys are looking for an experienced, bargain-level option at defensive tackle, Jones may be the way to go.

 

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