The Houston Texans released five-year veteran wide receiver Jacoby Jones this past week in what most likely was a cap space move. Jones was scheduled to make $3 million dollars in 2012. During the NFL Draft last week, it was rumored that Houston was shopping him after drafting Ohio State wide receiver DeVier Posey in the third-round of the draft.
The Cowboys have a great battle shaping up at the wide receiver position. We already know that Miles Austin and Dez Bryant will be the #1 and #2 wide receivers, but there is an opening on the roster after that. My boy rabblerousr has a great post on the position battle brewing at wide receiver, so be sure to check that out if you haven't already.
With the loss of Laurent Robinson in free agency, the wide receiver position is an area that I have been keeping a close eye on. We have possibly the best one-two punch in the game with Austin and Bryant, but a theory that I have stood by for about the past ten years is that like cornerbacks, you can never have too many wide receivers on the roster. It has become such an important position that you should always look to add depth when the opportunity arises.
Another thing to keep in mind is how physical the position is. Miles Austin is great when he is on the field, but he has shown that he will miss some games during the season. Dez Bryant plays like a man possessed, but he isn't a player who is a stranger to the injury list.
Would Jacoby Jones be a good acquisition? Take the jump to find out...
Jacoby Jones is a player that has interested me since he entered the league in 2007 as third-round draft pick with the Texans. Jones hails from a Division II school, Lane University. I like small school prospects because the prospects who do make it to the NFL usually are top tier athletes who work hard and carry a chip on their shoulder throughout their careers.
Jones did receive a combine invite back in 2007 where he ran a 4.50 40 yard dash, jumped a 34 inch vertical jump, timed a 4.31 20 yard shuttle and a 7.03 3-cone drill. While his 4.5 40 yard dash time isn't blazing fast, he does play football at a quicker speed. He has a large frame, 6'3 and 212 pounds, and the Cowboys typically prefer wide receiver prospects with the combination of size and athleticism Jones has.
The former track star was one of the sleeper wide receiver prospects of the 2007 NFL Draft. CBS Sports put together a good scouting report on him.
One of the best-kept secrets in the collegiate ranks, this former track and basketball star was a late bloomer on the football field. He did not begin playing organized football until his junior year in high school, and actually began his college career on a track scholarship at Southeastern Louisiana before transferring to Lane College in 2003.
Because of his commitment to the other two sports, Jones missed considerable off-season experience with the football team. He decided to concentrate strictly on improving his receiving skills and improving his strength before the 2006 season. The progress he made was evident. He increased his bulk by close to 20 pounds while maintaining that blazing speed that made him a kickoff return threat as a junior.
I won't detail all of his positives from the CBS Sports scouting report, but here is what stood out to me when I went back and took a closer look at Jones.
Positives: Worked hard before the 2006 season to add needed bulk to his frame, putting on an additional 17 pounds without it affecting his overall quickness … Has exceptionally long arms and excellent leaping ability to consistently win jump ball battles … Has a tight waist, good hip snap, well-developed thighs and calves … Spent considerable time in the coaches' office before the 2006 season reviewing game film and working on his route running technique, showing much better ability to get off the line of scrimmage as a senior than he did in the past … Long strider who has that angular, sprinter's burst, but it is a rapid stride with quick feet and excellent change of direction agility … Elusive runner after the catch who shows good effort to compete for the ball in a crowd (was much more physical attacking the ball in 2006 than in previous seasons) … Has improved his strength needed to break tackles and flashes explosive game speed...
Jones took a couple of seasons before he really found his role in the Texans offense. In 2009, he caught 27 passes for 437 yards and 6 TD. He repeated his success in 2010 with a career best 51 receptions for 562 yards and 3 TD. Many felt that he would take an even bigger step in the offense during the 2011 season, especially when superstar Andre Johnson went down with an injury. Jones didn't fulfill his expectations and finished the year with 31 receptions for 512 yards and 2 TD.
As a receiver, he would be a good fit for us a #3. In Houston he was expected to be the #2 option. If Dallas were to bring Jones in, I believe that he would fit like a glove because he would use his size and athleticism to beat #3 and #4 cornerbacks that just don't match up with Jones. As a #3 wide receiver in the Dallas offense, he could be just like Laurent Robinson. The two have similar size and measurable's, also their style of play is somewhat the same. Jones would be the perfect complement for Tony Romo and the rest of the Cowboys offense. He wouldn't face the same pressure he did in Houston, and that may make him play better football.
The one area that Jones would extremely benefit the Cowboys is as a returner. For whatever reason, the Cowboys continue to ignore this role on their football team. It bothers me because field position is such an important aspect of the game, and it always has been. For years the Cowboys have lacked a reliable kickoff returner. Can you remember the last consistent kick returner we had?
Patrick Crayton was actually a decent punt returner. Even though he lacked top end speed and could get tackled from behind, he had the "wiggle" and vision to turn punts into a big play. Dez Bryant may be one of the best punt returners in the league, but I want my franchise players off the field on special teams. The same can be said for our new shiny toy at cornerback, Morris Claiborne. He has great return ability, but I feel he is too important of a piece on defense to put in harms way. I wonder if defensive coordinator Rob Ryan would agree with me.
Too many things can go wrong out there and I don't want to see my premier players getting hurt. You can counter that argument with the other premier NFL players playing special teams, but I will not give into that argument. The Cowboys clearly do not want to spend a draft pick on a returner, so why not sign one? Jacoby Jones has excelled as a returner for the Texans, and I could envision him doing a great job for the Cowboys. He is the type of player we truly lack on special teams. Jones would bring the track speed and athleticism to the returner position that we definitely need.
According to Clarence Hill of the Star-Telegram, money may be the determining factor in whether the Cowboys sign Jones.
The Cowboys lack of financial flexibility is also one reason they have have not made a play for free agent receiver Jacoby Jones who was cut by the Texans earlier this week.
Jones is good kick returner and could be another option to throw at the vacant third receiver spot.
Hat tip to DCFanatic, he has a good article on the subject as well. Check out the video below, Bryan Broaddus also agrees that money is an issue here. If the two sides can come to an agreement on a contract that benefits both sides, then a deal may get done.
Cowboys interested in Jacoby Jones for right price (via JAMES CARTER)
The front office may be excited about Raymond Radway and Andre Holmes, but they lack NFL experience and are still a little raw. If Radway never suffered that horrific injury last pre-season, he would have made the 53-man roster last year. As a prospect, he excites me very much. As soon as I saw #86 play, I thought we found a poor man's Dez Bryant. I am thrilled to have Danny Coale on this team as well, but hedging your bets with a proven receiver like Jacoby Jones ensures we have a legitimate #3 wide receiver on the roster. With his ability to make plays as a wide receiver and on special teams, Jones looks like the type of signing I would endorse one-hundred percent.
video courtesy of http://www.youtube.com/user/cstak516