Cowboys could’ve provided Jerry Hughes a Texas homecoming over HOU
For a while, Dallas Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones has been saying that the team still plans to have activity in free agency. The thought is that the Joneses are likely trying to wait for free agents’ price ranges to drop so that the team can pick up some veteran talent for a lower price. Now is the time to make those moves as some players we have suggested the Cowboys should have an interest in are already being taken off the free market. One of those players is now-former Buffalo Bill, Jerry Hughes.
On Tuesday morning, multiple reports said that the 12-year defensive end veteran would be signing with the Houston Texans. Ahead of this move, Hughes was the longest-standing player on the Bills roster with nine years of service. The edge rusher was one of Buffalo’s most consistent and durable defenders for nearly a decade. Since 2011, the 33-year-old only missed one game.
In his longstanding career, he’s collected 58 sacks, 82 tackles for loss, 16 forced fumbles, and 129 quarterback hits. Hughes was set to enter the final year of his five year, $45 million contract with Buffalo, but wanted to explore the free market. After several years in the league, it appears the Fort Worth, Texas, native wanted to return home. But why do it with the worse team in the Lone Star State? While the Texans certainly had reason to desire Hughes, so did the Cowboys.
The Cowboys need additional assistance and bodies in the DE corps after the exit of Randy Gregory. Plus, Hughes would be a great veteran presence who would’ve allowed Micah Parsons to move around more freely as a defender. Plus, Hughes’s age will likely make his price tag cheaper despite continued production in the later years of his career. So, why didn’t the Cowboys go after a guy like this?
Long time Buffalo Bills DE Jerry Hughes reportedly making Texas homecoming with Houston Texans instead of Dallas Cowboys
While the details of Hughes’ contract are not finalized yet, we have to imagine he came at a much lower price and will be signing only a one or two-year contract due to his age. The Texans may have scored big here. They certainly need defensive help. Houston ranked fifth-worst in the league in 2021 with only 32 sacks. Oddly enough, they did not draft a defensive end with their 2022 NFL Draft picks, so signing Hughes does make sense for the Texans, albeit a temporary solution.
Spotrac previously predicted that Hughes would get a contract for somewhere around $6 million for two years. So, even if his snap count is starting to decrease with age, a team would still be getting a durable, veteran leader for a bargain bin price. Is this a huge mistake by the Cowboys? Not at all. But could this have been a late free agency move that would’ve helped the team? Yes.
Although Hughes was born in Sugar Land, Texas, (a suburb of Houston), you’d think that if he got an offer from the superior team in Texas that he might have taken it. We, of course, don’t know if the Cowboys ever had any talks with Hughes, but the idea of a Texas return at AT&T Stadium with the Lone Star State team that has a much better chance of winning a Super Bowl in the near future likely could’ve swayed him away from the Texans.
The Cowboys will now face Jerry Hughes and the Texans at home in 2022.