With the opening of free agency, a heavy focus surrounds the happenings with the Dallas Cowboys as usual.
Due to the focus on who could leave town, there’s been little on who’s heading in; and among notable names this applies to is defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
The top overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft played five seasons with the Houston Texans, making the Pro Bowl in last three seasons. After missing the majority of his rookie year, he has been a fairly durable and extremely disruptive presence on the defensive line; playing in at least 13 games in the past five years.
After finishing the 2018 season with 9.0 sacks and three fumble recoveries en route to his third consecutive Pro Bowl; the Texans traded Clowney to the Seattle Seahawks in August of 2019 for Barkevious Mingo, Jacob Martin and a 2020 third-round draft pick. As the South Carolina product approached the end of his contract, it became clear the two sides would not find common ground for a new deal.
In the final year of his rookie contract, Clowney played in 13 games for Seattle. While his number of sacks and total were down compared to his 2018 numbers; he did snag his first career interception and touchdown with a pick-six against the Arizona Cardinals.
— NFL (@NFL) September 29, 2019
Fit in Dallas?
“I think the Cowboys are the team that is going to land Jadeveon Clowney,” he said. “They just lost Robert Quinn. They’re looking for somebody who can make an impact on that defense because they think they have a championship roster everywhere else.”
Quinn, who led Dallas in sacks in 2019, signed a five-year, $70 million contract to join the Chicago Bears. He leaves behind a defensive line in need of boosting; with DeMarcus Lawrence underachieving and Tyrone Crawford undergoing surgery to repair both hips. Veteran Michael Bennet played nine games with the Cowboys after being traded from the New England Patriots, but is also a free agent in 2020.
While Clowney would be a welcome addition to the Dallas defense, the question mark comes in his price tag.
Prior to 2019 Dallas payed up to extend star running back Ezekiel Elliott along with Lawrence in deals that combined for more than $105 million in guaranteed money. On Monday the Cowboys gave wide receiver Amari Cooper a new contract worth up to $100 million with another $60 million in guarantees; and are still working to lock up quarterback Dak Prescott to a long term deal.
The #DallasCowboys and Amari Cooper have agreed to terms on $100 million deal.
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) March 17, 2020
In the mean time Clowney is expected to want numbers similar to those DeForest Buckner received from the Indianapolis Colts. If so, he is demanding at least $21 million per year. Between that contract and Quinn’s lucrative deal, there is little reason the 27-year-old should expect less money.
Given the costly nature of acquiring Clowney and the other priorities the Dallas front office will likely address first; don’t expect to see Clowney back in Texas any time soon.