The Dallas Cowboys are expected to let Cornerback Byron Jones become a free agent next week. The front office's focus seems to remain in both Quarterback Dak Prescott and Wide Receiver Amari Cooper. Losing Jones would be a tough blow for the Cowboys' defense, but a huge upgrade for another NFL team's unit.
As we expect Jones to be one of the most sought-after free agents in the league, it's interesting to note that every NFC East rival will likely be interested in him. If he doesn't return to the Cowboys, he could very well end up facing his former team twice a year.
Let's take a look at each of the Cowboys division rivals and why they could be interested in the NFL's top free agent at cornerback.
This one would certainly hurt. In the last few seasons, the NFC East has been led by the Cowboys or the Eagles. The division still hasn't had a consecutive champion since 2004 and the upcoming season should feature yet another race for the title between the two.
The Eagles are in desperate need of a cornerback. They have over 40 million in cap space and while it doesn't sound like much, Howie Roseman will have enough room to make such a big signing if he wants to. Ronald Darby is set to hit free agency, but he might not even be the guy Philly is looking for. They need a #1 cornerback. Byron Jones will interest plenty of teams, but him staying in the division doesn't seem impossible.
New York Giants
The Giants' defense needs help all over the field. Last season, they had one of the worst defensive units in the NFL. With almost $80M in cap space, they're likely to make big moves in free agency. Not to mention, they hold the 3rd overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Plenty of mock drafts have them taking CB Jeffrey Okudah or LB Isaiah Simmons at that spot.
Their decision will likely be influenced by what they do in free agency. I expect them to come out swinging once free agency kicks off. Getting a 27-year-old CB1 will certainly not be out of the question, regardless of the price tag.
The Redskins also count with plenty of cap space to make big moves this offseason. With Ron Rivera taking over, I wouldn't be surprised to see them make a push for CB Byron Jones. The Redskins already have a talented front seven and with them likely drafting Chase Young with the second overall pick, I don't see them spending big on the defensive line in free agency.
Moving Offensive Tackle Trent Williams will end up opening even more cap space for them, allowing them to sign big-name players in free agency. Adding Byron Jones to their defense would take Rivera's unit to another level talent-wise. In a division with young quarterbacks, pass defense is something the Redskins will want to improve.