We're hours away from the NFL trade deadline and Jerry Jones remains adamant that the Dallas Cowboys won't make any moves. Appearing on 105.3 The Fan Tuesday morning, Jones said he's not "seeing anything at this moment," adding that it would take time to get a deal done.
That's no excuse, of course. After all, a perfect Cowboys target became available after the Bears granted cornerback Jaylon Johnson permission to seek a trade after the two sides couldn't agree to terms on a contract extension.
Johnson will cost a pretty penny, but the Super-Bowl-hopeful Cowboys shouldn't balk at prices, especially not after they made win-now moves this offseason by trading for impact veterans Brandin Cooks and Stephon Gilmore.
After all, there are other teams in pursuit of a championship. Namely, the Eagles and 49ers, who reside in the NFC and just so happen to be poking around the cornerback market, according to ESPN insider Jeremy Fowler.
NFL Rumors: Cowboys can't let Eagles trade for Jaylon Johnson
The Cowboys simply cannot allow the Eagles to beat them to the punch here. Already deadline "winners" after they acquired All-Pro safety Kevin Byard from the Titans for a laughable haul, Philly double dipping to upgrade their secondary, which just allowed Sam Howell to throw for 397 yards and 4 TDs, would be a disaster for Dallas.
Playing keep-away shouldn't be the Cowboys lone motivator, obviously.
A cornerback trio of Trevon Diggs, DaRon Bland, who has three pick-sixes this season, and Jaylon Johnson would give Dallas the best CB room in the NFL and set up the secondary to be elite for almost a decade. For 2023, though, Johnson would add cover behind Bland and Gilmore following Diggs' season-ending injury.
This season, Johnson's 85.2 coverage grade is second among 115 qualified corners, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required). His 42.3% allowed completion rate is fourth at the position and he's second only to DaRon Bland in passer rating allowed.
The only issue is Johnson is an unrestricted free agent after the season. It's unlikely the Cowboys would give up the necessary draft compensation -- likely a second-round pick -- for a half-season rental and Spotrac currently values Johnson at three years, $23 million. They could always let him walk in exchange for a comp pick, too.
Either way, that's a reasonable price given Bland won't hit free agency until after the 2025 season. It's plausible Dallas would explore an extension for Bland before that, but acquiring Johnson now would allow them to stagger the contracts.
Acquiring Johnson would cause financial headaches, but that's far more palatable than if he ended up on the Eagles or 49ers.