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Report: Dallas Cowboys are one of two teams on top of free agent DE Jadeveon Clowney’s preferred list

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Can the Cowboys afford to add the pass rusher, and do they need to?

NFL: OCT 13 Seahawks at Browns Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys have been busy this offseason in terms of football operations. As an organization they made a massive change by moving on from Jason Garrett and hiring Mike McCarthy. They returned a significant star for their offense in Amari Cooper by way of a deal that will pay him $20M per season. Blake Jarwin was extended (while Jason Witten wasn’t brought back). Some veteran defensive players like Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe, and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix players were brought in through free agency. They drafted CeeDee Lamb.

Some moves are undoubtedly bigger than others but another interesting decision that the team made was the signing of pass rusher Aldon Smith. As you are aware Smith has not played football since 2015, but he has officially been reinstated and there is hope that he can be to the Cowboys what he once was to defensive line coach Jim Tomusla’s San Francisco 49ers.

Dallas is still awaiting word on Randy Gregory’s appeal for reinstatement. If he is in fact allowed back in the league he, Smith, and Tyrone Crawford will be tasked of filling the void that Robert Quinn leaves behind since he left to the Chicago Bears in free agency.

There is still seemingly one solution that the Cowboys could try out at defensive end opposite of DeMarcus Lawrence, and it’s one that you’ve likely thought about yourself. It might have more life than you think.

The Cowboys are reportedly one of two teams on Jadeveon Clowney’s wish list

As we near the end of June there are a handful of notable free agents still on the market across the NFL and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is certainly among them. This time a year ago Clowney was trying to get a big-time payday from the Houston Texans and wound up traded to the Seattle Seahawks as a result. They went to the playoffs and he still hasn’t found the deal that fits him yet, or so it would seem.

Obviously Clowney has familiarity with the state of Texas having played for the Houston franchise and it sure would be something to pair him with DeMarcus Lawrence considering they were both drafted in 2014. Apparently that is something Clowney may have interest in as, according to Tony Pauline, the Dallas Cowboys are one of two teams on top of Clowney’s preferred list of teams at the moment.

“I was told the two teams on top of Clowney’s list, as far as where he would like to end up, are the Dallas Cowboys and the New Orleans Saints. He would definitely help both of those teams. Both of them are a little bit cash-strapped. The Saint shave less than $9M under the cap. The Cowboys are about $11.2M below the cap. So I don’t think either of that is going to be enough to bring Clowney in. They would have to do some significant maneuvering of salary in order to bring him in for a year if in fact those teams want him. I don’t know that they want him. I know that Clowney would like, wouldn’t mind ending up with either the Cowboys or the Saints from what I’m told.”

This offseason has obviously been dramatically different from any before it due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and there is no question that there have been ramifications felt by players that were seeking new deals. Clowney clearly believes that he is an elite pass rusher and he simply hasn’t had the opportunity to get the right deal from a team to this point in time which is why he is still on the market.

Time will tell as to how much truth there is to this, but it makes sense for Clowney to want to play for the Cowboys or Saints considering that they both figure to be playoff contenders and both garner a lot of attention. If he were to take a one-year, prove-it type deal in those circumstances he could ideally net a huge payday come the offseason of 2021.

Former Cleveland Browns tackle, and future Pro Football Hall of Famer, Joe Thomas said earlier in the offseason that he could see Clowney ending up with the Cowboys. Perhaps Thomas manifested something into existence or perhaps the Cowboys are being used to drum up some attention around Clowney.