The Dallas Cowboys could be an ideal landing spot for one of the top defensive tackles in the NFL.
As suggested by Bleacher Report’s Brad Gagnon, the Cowboys “should pursue” Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Johnson in a potential trade. Jones is currently sitting out due to a contract dispute and a desire for a new deal that will pay him $30 million per year. Jones is currently in the last year of a deal that will pay him $20 million this season.
Gagnon argues that the acquisition of Jones — who finished third in Defensive Player of the Year voting last season — would represent a “huge upgrade” on the interior. Gagnon mentions that a first-round pick should be sufficient capital for acquiring Jones.
“Jones would likely cost them a first-round pick, possibly along with third-year starter Osa Odighizuwa. But he’d provide a huge upgrade in that spot,” writes Gagnon. “And if Dallas believes it can truly make a Super Bowl run with him on board (keep in mind that pick would come at the bottom of Round 1 under those circumstances), it’d be more than worth it.”
Cowboys Have Cap Space to Make Move for Chris Jones
Furthermore, the Cowboys’ abundance of salary cap space — according to Spotrac, the Cowboys have $17.7 million in cap space, the sixth-most in the NFL — should entice them into making a move for Jones as they enter a potentially Super Bowl or bust season with Dak Prescott and Mike McCarthy.
“Yeah, it’s now or never for Mike McCarthy, Dak Prescott and Co., and according to Spotrac they have more salary-cap space than all but five NFL teams,” writes Gagnon. “That gives them wiggle room to absorb Jones’ inherited cap charge of $20.8 million.”
To say Jones would be an upgrade over the Cowboys’ current duo of veteran defensive tackles — Johnathan Hankins and Osa Odighizuwa — is an understatement. According to Pro Football Focus, Jones posted a 92.0 defensive grade and 92.2 pass-rushing grade last season. Both of those grades ranked second among all defensive tackles.
By comparison, Odighizuwa posted a 68.2 defensive grade and Hankins posted a 46.5 defensive grade last season.
Furthermore, Jones is a two-time Super Bowl champion, four-time All-Pro selection and four-time Pro Bowler. With the exception of the Los Angeles Rams’ Aaron Donald, he’s the most accomplished defensive tackle in the NFL.
Chiefs Remain Committed to Getting Chris Jones Deal Done
The Cowboys have already pulled off three major trades this offseason, acquiring Brandin Cooks, Stephon Gilmore and Trey Lance in recent months. In other words, if there’s any contender in the league that’s likely to pull off a deal before the deadline on Oct. 31, it’s Dallas.
With that being said, the Chiefs have repeatedly stressed that they have no plans of trading Jones. Jones has held out of training camp since it opened in late July. Despite Jones’ holdout, Kansas City general manager Brett Veach says the best resolution is for Jones to end his career with the Chiefs.
“I think for all parties, I think the best resolution would be for him to end his career as a Chief — and get that financial security — and for us to do what we had set out to do, and that’s to work through last offseason with this offseason in mind and get some young guys, which we did that, and then focus on this year and getting Chris done,” Veach told Jesse Newell of the Kansas City Star. “Hopefully, we get this resolved, but we have no intentions of making a trade.”
Based upon Veach’s comments, it sounds like the Chiefs intend to get a deal done, rather than trade their franchise defensive player.
However, if the Chiefs opt to go in a different direction and trade Jones, the Cowboys could emerge as the most likely destination.
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