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Cowboys 2020 free agency: Jerry Jones says not so fast on the idea of Robert Quinn leaving the Cowboys

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The Cowboys defensive end put together a very good 2019, could we see a repeat for Quinn in Dallas?

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at New England Patriots Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

When the Dallas Cowboys picked up defensive end Robert Quinn last offseason, it was thought of as a nice deal for Dallas. Quinn was an established vet and while he wasn’t the same guy who absolutely terrorized the league in 2013 with 19 sacks and seven forced fumbles, he could still ball. Getting him for just a sixth-round pick was certainly a bargain. The Cowboys promptly gave him a one-year, $9.2 million deal with incentives that he reached, making it a $10 million deal.

Quinn reached those incentives on the back of 11.5 sacks, leading the Cowboys in that category even though he missed the first two games of the season. The Cowboys got much more than they could have hoped for as Quinn’s game rebounded to a higher level than most would have guessed. In fact, 11.5 sacks was the second-highest total of his career, only behind his sensational 2013 season.

That was all good for the Cowboys, except for one pesky issue - Quinn is now a free agent and likely to be a sought after commodity on the open market. Double-digit sack guys aren’t easy to find. Quinn tied for ninth in the league for sacks in 2019; that will draw attention.

Based on the Cowboys having to pay guys like Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper, and with decisions to make on Byron Jones among other free agents, there has been a prevailing wind among pundits that Quinn would likely receiver a bigger deal elsewhere and that the Cowboys wouldn’t be able to retain his services.

Jerry Jones says not so fast:

Jerry Jones wants Robert Quinn to stay in Dallas

Robert Quinn is a free agent come March, but if the Dallas Cowboys have their way, he may not hit the market. I’m told Jerry Jones has been aggressive in letting Quinn know that he wants the pass rusher to be playing in a Cowboys uniform next year. I’m also told Quinn’s preference is to remain in Dallas. If Dallas makes Quinn a competitive offer, don’t expect him to leave town next season.

This would be a huge deal for Dallas if they could keep Quinn. As my friend OCC reminds us, this is a passing league and disrupting the quarterback is job one of a defense. Nobody did that better for Dallas in 2019 than Robert Quinn. His ultra-quick first step combined with his ability to bend is a fearsome combination.

It’s a tricky time for the Cowboys as they have a ton of talent that needs to be signed. The idea of keeping Quinn seemed unlikely to most observers, but maybe the Cowboys are prioritizing Quinn higher than many thought. No one else on the Cowboys had more than 6.5 sacks, and those came from another free agent who only played part of the season in Dallas, Michael Bennett.

The Cowboys will want a better effort out of their defensive line in 2020. They are bringing in coach Jim Tomsula to get that done. Keeping Quinn in the fold would surely help.