Despite the calamity going on in the world, from a purely football roster building perspective, it’s been one of the better offseasons for the Dallas Cowboys in recent memory. With a new coaching staff and some money to spend, the team went about filling some of the holes with making a run in the playoffs the stated goal.
One of the biggest needs, however, remains at defensive end, where the Cowboys still could use some help. Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is remarkably still available and it appears as though the former first overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft has narrowed his list of teams down to two.
The Cowboys are one of those teams on his short list according to Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline.
Adding Clowney would be a huge help to the Cowboys’ defensive line. He’d immediately become their best option across from DE DeMarcus Lawrence and give the defense a dominant front four, along with new DT additions Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe.
The question with Clowney comes down to cost. The main reason Clowney hasn’t signed with a team yet has been the price tag and Dallas likely doesn’t have the cap room to go out and pay the high cost it might take to acquire the veteran defensive line bookend. If the price is lower than expected, the team should look into bringing Clowney in.
Clowney has 32 career sacks, but had just three last year playing with the Seattle Seahawks. Nevertheless, he’s a very good player who has made three Pro Bowls and been named an All-Pro once (Second-team in 2016). Despite the accolades, he hasn’t found a new place to play in 2020.
The stats have never been overwhelming for Clowney, but he’s a well-rounded defensive end who stops the run as well as rushes the quarterback.
The Cowboys would be a good fit for Clowney, who wants to play for a contender. If he’s looking for a short deal to bridge into a larger payday next year, Dallas is a perfect place to play. Lining up across from Lawrence helped get Robert Quinn paid handsomely this offseason and Clowney is a more complete player than Quinn.
Lawrence is currently the only legitimate threat as an edge rusher for the Cowboys. Aldon Smith has been reinstated and the hope is that fellow DE Randy Gregory will follow, making for a promising pass rushing tandem. However, neither played last season, and Smith hasn’t laced up his cleats since 2015, so it’s hard to count on either player.
That leaves only Tyrone Crawford, currently penciled in as the starter, as someone the defense can trust opposite of Lawrence. There are also young, unproven players on the roster, and the Cowboys did draft end Bradlee Aane out of Utah, but none are as good as Clowney.
If the Cowboys are putting their best foot forward in 2020, acquiring Jadeveon Clowney for the right price would make a lot of sense. Clowney would immediately upgrade the defense and make it a deeper unit.
With all this in mind, add Clowney to the short list of defensive ends, along with Everson Griffen, that Dallas should attempt to sign to put a ribbon on what has been an overall successful break in action.
As you never truly know until you ask, the Cowboys should find out just how interested Clowney really is in coming to the Cowboys. If the price is right, Clowney could be a difference maker at a spot on defense that remains in need of help.
If you could see the Cowboys top off the offseason by trading for Jamal Adams or signing Jadeveon Clowney, which would you prefer? Share your pick with Ben on Twitter @BenGrimaldi.
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