With his ability to rush the passer, from both defensive end and tackle, Jack Crawford is a great signing for 2016.
But the Crawford signing does not mean the Cowboys are set on the defensive line. According to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, the Cowboys have continued to pursue free agent defensive end Jason Jones.
DE Jason Jones still in play for Cowboys, source says. Would need to be comparable to 1-year, $1.1 million deal that Jack Crawford signed.
In 2015, Jones recorded 4.5 sacks, 31 tackles, 13 QB hurries, and a forced fumble with the Lions. He has posted 28 total sacks since being drafted by Tennessee in 2008 and, like Crawford, can play inside as well as outside.
The Cowboys may be pursuing Jason Jones, but is it in their best interest to sign him?
Despite the additions of DE Benson Mayowa and DT Cedric Thornton, as well as the re-signing of Jack Crawford, the Cowboys still need to improve their pass rush. Their defensive line was underwhelming in 2015 and served to be the tragic flaw in the season-ending playoff loss to the Packers in 2014.
Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli wants to attack in “waves” of fresh-legged linemen especially at the end of games and seasons. For this to happen, the Cowboys will have to do more to build a dominant D-line, and continue to add legitimate, elite, game-changing talents. Not to mention, Randy Gregory will be suspended for the first four games and DeMarcus Lawrence is coming off of back surgery, a discectomy.
Bottom line is, the defensive front needs depth, which makes the addition of another DE, like Jones, quite attractive to the Cowboys.
The Cowboys have made a conscious effort to keep and obtain young players. Although they could use all the help they could get, Jones does not fit that mold seeing as he will turn 30 next month. The oldest players currently on the defensive line are Terrell McClain, Jack Crawford, and Cedric Thornton at age 27. Jason Jones would be the oldest pass rusher on the line.
Not to mention, he just made $3.1 million over the last two seasons with the Lions and may be looking for a similar paycheck from the Cowboys. Paying a player like Jones anything near $3.1 million may not be something the Cowboys want to do.
If Jones does wear the star in 2016, it’d likely be for one year, in a deal similar to that of Jack Crawford’s. Ideally, I’d like to see the ‘Boys acquire defensive linemen through the draft; That’s young cheap talent compared to Jones’ aging and pricey talent.
But on the other hand, Jones could still add some life to the lackluster pass rush and serve as a mentor to the younger defensive linemen.
Would it be in the their best interest to sign Jason Jones? Maybe at the right price.