There is only one more NFL game left on the calendar and in a week and a half we’ll all watch the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers square off in Super Bowl LIV. The other 30 teams in the NFL are focused on playing in this game a year from now. They’re planted in Mobile, AL this week attending the Senior Bowl, soon enough it’ll be time for the NFL Combine, and before we know it the 2020 NFL Draft will be here.
We discussed these free agent fits and more on Wednesday’s episode of The Ocho.
Of course free agency will land in the middle of all of that and that can sometimes be a way to fast forward talent acquisition for teams. The Cowboys haven’t exactly been insanely active in free agency in years past, but the numbers of trades they’ve made lately coupled with a new head coach might be something that has changed their approach in that regard.
The fine folks over at PFF debuted a new free agency rankings package that features projected contracts from OverTheCap.com. You can sort through teams and look at what a team’s biggest needs are to see potential fits.
Here are the three top fits for the Cowboys, per PFF.
Chris Jones, DT, Kansas City Chiefs
It’s possible that Chris Jones could be the top free agent target for the Dallas Cowboys, after he’s done playing in the Super Bowl of course.
Once upon a time the Cowboys plucked a defensive lineman away from the Kansas City Chiefs and that yielded incredible results on the field in David Irving. Could a different number 95 join the team and produce similarly?
Jones has been one of the more disruptive interior defensive linemen that the NFL has had in recent memory and the Cowboys are undoubtedly in a position where they need an attacking force there. If they’re somehow able to bring Robert Quinn back and then add Jones to a defensive front that already features DeMarcus Lawrence... that could be fun.
Defensive tackle and safety have long been the biggest needs for the Cowboys yet we have seen them ignore the positions time and time again as far as legitimate resources are concerned. They did draft Trysten Hill in the second round last year but the biggest mistake they could make would be too try and rely on that to solve the problem.
Hunter Henry, TE, Los Angeles Chargers
It’s hard to know exactly what the Cowboys need at tight end to be honest. The position is such a question mark.
Henry has never played 16 games through four NFL seasons but he has been a functional player for the Chargers when healthy. It’s just that this is so often not the case.
One thing the Cowboys love to do is bargain shop and it’s possible that Henry’s injury history could lead him to be a less expensive option in free agency. Many thought that the Cowboys could take this approach a year ago with Tyler Eifert, but that never materialized.
Whether Jason Witten returns is still to be determined, and Blake Jarwin is an option that makes a lot of sense. Of course, the more the merrier so someone like Henry could be fun.
Eric Ebron, TE, Indianapolis Colts
This is obviously an alternative option at tight end. And it could be a fun one.
Ebron blew up in 2018 when he caught 13 touchdowns during his first season with the Indianapolis Colts, and if you’re feeling optimistic you can talk yourself into a legitimate reason why that production dipped last season.
As you know, Andrew Luck retired just before the season began so it’s hard to really qualify anything that any Colts skill player was able to do. With a full offseason with the same quarterback and that same signal-caller playing the season, it’s fair to assume Ebron could return to something close to that peak.
Ebron doesn’t quite have the injury question marks that Hunter Henry does but he’s only played two full seasons in six years. It’s hard to imagine the Cowboys bringing Ebron in to be the primary option at the position if they have someone like Blake Jarwin returning, so if you’re only relying on Ebron then this is a move that could make a lot of sense.