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Houston Texans release JJ Watt; could the Dallas Cowboys be interested?

Initial reaction from Dallas Cowboys sources indicates their interest is unlikely.
Credit: AP
Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) walks off the field after an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Houston. The Titans won 41-38. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

HOUSTON — The most storied player in the history of the Houston Texans has been released. JJ Watt made it clear to the organization that he wanted to part ways with the organization, and they acquiesced, granting his release.

"I wanted you guys to hear directly from me," Watt said in a video he posted to twitter. "I have sat down with the McNair family, and I have asked for my release. And we have mutually agreed to part ways at this time."

RELATED: Houston Texans release star defensive end J.J. Watt

Watt spent ten seasons with the Texans, recording 101 sacks over the span, including two seasons in which he led the NFL in sacks. He won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award three times in a four year span (2012, '14, '15).

In recent seasons, his production has tapered off as he's missed time due to injuries. He played just three games in 2016, just five games in 2017, and just eight games in 2019. 

In 2018, he played a full 16 game season, and recorded 16 sacks, showing he was still true to form, despite injuries. But in 2020, he again played 16 games, but recorded just five sacks and just 52 tackles.

Watt now hits the free agent market.  

Could the Dallas Cowboys be interested in adding the five-time All-Pro? 

We have seen the Cowboys add veteran pass rushers over the last couple offseasons, bringing in Robert Quinn for one season in 2019, and Aldon Smith for one season (and possibly more, depending on how this offseason progresses) in 2020. Could JJ Watt be the next in that line of succession?

At least preliminarily, it sounds like the Cowboys are out on Watt. One front office source replied by saying "nothing right now," when asked if the organization had any interest in him. 

JJ Watt is a first-ballot Hall of Famer whenever he decides to hang it up, and has been the face of Houston sports over the last decade. That alone may be enough to keep him from considering the Cowboys. 

But he's also not that Hall of Fame player any more, it appears. And if he's going to cost Hall of Famer money, the Cowboys just don't have that money to spend. 

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