The Dallas Cowboys will be busy making decisions on 31 free agents when the new league year begins on March 18th. Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, and Byron Jones are leading the headlines in terms of importance, and rightfully so. However, another player set to hit the open market got some high praise from the man that cuts the check in Big D.
Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones spent nearly 90 minutes on Thursday speaking to reporters at the NFL Combine and called Defensive End Robert Quinn “one of the top people — people, players and people —, that I’ve ever been associated with. He’s the real deal. … He really helped us last year. So I’m hopeful that we can do something to keep him,” Jones said, via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News.
Last March, Quinn was traded to the Cowboys from the Miami Dolphins for a sixth-round pick in 2020. His career in Dallas didn’t start off the best, though, as he fractured his left hand in August during training camp practice. It got even worse a few days later when he was suspended for the first two games of the season for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy. He would appeal the decision, however, it was upheld and Quinn sat the first two weeks.
Ironically, Quinn made his Cowboys debut vs his previous team, and he didn’t waste time making an impact. He would register three tackles, a sack, and an unreal seven quarterback pressures in the Cowboys 31-6 victory. A week later in New Orleans, he sacked Saints backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater twice in a tough 12-10 loss. After being held without a sack vs the Green Bay Packers, Quinn got two more sacks vs the New York Jets, however, it came while suffering another close defeat 24-22.
By seasons end, Quinn led the Cowboys in sacks (11.5) and quarterback pressures (37). He himself has said he’d like to return to Dallas, as he expressed last month when he spoke with Mike Fisher of Sports Illustrated.
“Since I got here, at first I joined a locker room full of strangers, and then they became friends and some of them became brothers,” Quinn said. “You love when things happen like that.”
The Cowboys will definitely have competition for their 2019 sack leader when he hits the open market. Quinn made a huge impact on the Cowboys pass rush, something they’ve lacked for quite some time, and Jerry Jones will certainly make him a priority. Now, we sit and wait for the business side to work itself out.