The Dallas Cowboys could be looking for a pass rusher this offseason and former New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul could make sense.
After signing controversial Pro Bowl defensive end Greg Hardy last offseason, the Dallas Cowboys appear ready to go another direction to improve their pass rush in 2016. If the Cowboys do indeed elect not to re-sign Hardy, who is an unrestricted free agent with a no franchise tag clause in his previous contract, then Dallas will surely be looking to fill that void when the free agency market opens next month.
One of the biggest and most intriguing names expected to hit the open market on March 15th is New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. Coming off a 2014 season in which Pierre-Paul recorded 77 tackles, 12.5 sacks, six pass defends and had a career-high three forced fumbles, the Giants were forced to use the franchise tag on the then-26-year old defensive end.
More from The Landry Hat
- 3 ways Cowboys’ Dak Prescott can have a bounce-back season in 2023
- Cowboys News: Dallas sets pre-draft visit with potential Dalton Schultz upgrade
- NFL executives heaping praise on offseason is uncharted territory for Cowboys
- 3 free agent signings from NFC East rivals that left Cowboys fans laughing
- Cowboys News: Brandin Cooks sends flattering message to CeeDee Lamb, Stephon Gilmore
But a freak fireworks accident on July 4th mangled the former first round selection’s right hand, forcing a portion of it to be amputated. The talented pass rusher lost his right index finger past the knuckle and part of his thumb. His middle finger was left bloated and mostly immobile as well.
The injury, which Pierre-Paul kept the Giants in the dark about for far too long, limited the young man to just eight games last year. And his lack of conditioning due to the missed time plus having to play with a clubbed hand also reduced his effectiveness. JPP recorded a total of 26 tackles, six passes defended and only one sack in 2015.
Despite the limited action, Pro Football Focus still ranked Pierre-Paul as the 11th best pass rushing 4-3 defensive end in the NFL last season.
Now, Pierre-Paul is scheduled to become a free agent once again. And it is unclear if the Giants will even attempt to retain him. If two-time Pro Bowler hits the open market, one former NFL player believes Dallas would be an ideal landing spot.
"“Well, I think [Jason Pierre-Paul] can be good,” former NFL player turned analyst Ryan Clark told ESPN recently. “We saw him create pressure. The number of sacks wasn’t there on his return, but he hustled. He ran to the ball. He’s a guy who can still play. If you’re the Dallas Cowboys, and you’re not thinking about bringing back Greg Hardy, you know you need a rush guy. You bring him in. He’s a guy you’re familiar with because he’s in your division…sign him to a one-year deal. And give him a prove it to me-type deal and take care of him on the back end if he performs, I think he would be a good fit in Dallas. He’s a guy you know is going to play hard and that you’re familiar with. I think you take that chance.”"
Last month, the six-year veteran had surgery on his hand to increase mobility. The hope is Pierre-Paul will be able to use a glove instead of a fully tape-up clubbed hand next season. If he can prove his grip has improved, it should open up more options for the former Super Bowl champion in free agency.
As far as Pierre-Paul possibly signing with the Cowboys, the need for a pass rusher is certainly there. Especially if Dallas opts not to re-sign Hardy. And a one-year prove-it deal is preferable. But if JPP is willing to accept that kind of deal with the Cowboys, I’m not sure why he wouldn’t take the same deal from the Giants as well. Certainly, based on his past performances, and especially against Dallas, the Cowboys should be interested in Pierre-Paul as the risk could be worth the possible rewards. But again, only for the right price.
Thank you for reading the above article. It’s our sincere hope you’ll visit our site often as we work really hard to provide Cowboys fans with fresh, daily content about their favorite team. Please feel free to take part in further discussions about this topic below in our comment section. All we ask is that each participant is respectful in both their responses and towards others. Thanks again and…Go Cowboys!