Jerry Jones puts Cowboys in best position to compete
Putting together a roster with a tight salary cap situation is tough, but owner and general manager Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys did it.
The Covid-19 pandemic made things difficult for general managers of sports teams. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is one of the many that had to deal with its complications.
On top of that, the Cowboys didn’t have very much salary cap space following the signing of quarterback Dak Prescott to a massive four-year, $160 million deal this offseason. That meant Jerry had little resources to add talent to the team. Despite the unfavorable circumstances, he found a way to add impact players.
Of all the signings, I would only look at three of them being the most impactful. They are safeties in Damontae Kazee, Malik Hooker, and Keanu Neal.
Immediately, you get the sense that the Cowboys’ front office wanted to upgrade their defense. That’s not a surprise when you consider their horrid 2020 season.
After that, you will notice that all three have had success at some point in time at the NFL level. While Neal is the only player with a Pro Bowl, Kazee led the NFL in interceptions in 2018, and Hooker has had at least two interceptions with four batted passes in two of his four seasons.
There’s always that “but” factor
Now, here’s the kicker. All three defenders have a history of major injuries. Kazee and Hooker had identical Achillies injuries, while Neal tore his ACL in 2018 and Achillies in 2019.
The injury history and the risk of being sidelined once again allowed the Dallas Cowboys to sign the impact players at a bargain price. When up against the cap ceiling, these are the type of signings your team needs to make to compete.
Injuries are very unpredictable, but you should also be wary of them. They can be what put a Super Bowl-contending team at the bottom of the standings. Yes, I’m still petty from last season.
Regardless, Jones and co. are more than aware of their players’ medical situations. Jerry turning down a deal with Hooker back in March is a positive sign that they won’t bring someone along unless there is a clear path to them playing come Week 1.
While the injuries are concerning, Jerry Jones didn’t have much room to work. Coming to terms with risky players is what the longtime business mogul had to do. Considering his track record, he knows a lot about when and when not to take risks.
If things don’t pan out, well, that sucks. At least there’s an opportunity for upside. The reality is, these signings put the Dallas Cowboys in the best position possible to compete.
Had the risk not been there, the dollars wouldn’t work out, and Jerry Jones would be looking to less qualified players. Look to the bright side, hope things work out, and for the love of God, let’s hope there are more healthy players than injured players this time around.