Jadeveon Clowney, Cowboys rumors: Pro Bowl go rusher at present ‘not within the plan’ for quite a lot of causes


There’s fantasy after which there’s actuality, and the 2 issues do not typically meet. Take the state of affairs with Jadeveon Clowney for instance, a three-time Pro Bowl go rusher who’s nonetheless sitting in free company because the calendar readies to show to July. There’s an ongoing fantasy that fuels rumors of a possible marriage between he and the Dallas Cowboys, however the actuality is much much less romantic, optimistic and even doable. In March, in the beginning of 2020 free company, a supply instructed CBS Sports the Cowboys had zero curiosity in Clowney at his preliminary asking worth — noting particularly he was “not in the plan” for 2020.

Three months later, the identical supply reaffirms Clowney nonetheless is not, even when reviews are correct that the previous first-overall choose is eyeing Dallas. The first and largest hurdle is Clowney’s asking worth, which started at round $20 million per 12 months. When he could not discover any takers, he reportedly decreased it to roughly $18 million — give or take 1,000,000 — however these costs had been and stay a non-starter for the Cowboys; and that was at a time once they had the cap area to make it work. 

That area has now evaporated as a result of free company signings like Dontari Poe, Gerald McCoy, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix together with a five-year, $100 million deal awarded to broad receiver Amari Cooper, however there’s additionally the matter of a $31.Four million franchise tag set to be paid to Dak Prescott if a deal cannot be reached by July 15.

All instructed, the Cowboys have solely $11.25 million in cap area on the finish of June, per Over the Cap, and that is about six to eight million {dollars} lower than what they’d want so as to add Clowney, until he obliterates his asking worth, which is unlikely to occur. That quantity can be set to be decreased by the eventual signing of the 2020 draft class, which has been delayed by the continued COVID-19 pandemic, at a price of roughly $3.1 million. So, in actuality, the Cowboys are working with an understanding they really have solely $8.15 million in cap area — growing the scale of the canyon between what they’ll afford and what Clowney desires to be paid. 

It additionally must be stated that even when he did out of the blue and unexpectedly tank his personal contract calls for merely to land in Dallas, it would not assure him a spot on the Cowboys. The group might unlock the cash to land him, however given every little thing they’re assessing relating to the potential union, they do not need to offer him a contract that pays him a better wage in 2020 than DeMarcus Lawrence; who has two double-digit sack seasons underneath his belt and is perennially among the best run-stopping edge defenders in all the league.

That brings me to the opposite challenges for a doable Clowney-to-Dallas state of affairs, and ones not being mentioned with each eye-grab of a headline that finds a strategy to tie each side collectively.

The added points are roster-based, which is to say the group appears markedly totally different on the line of defense than it did three months in the past once they already has little interest in an costly Clowney. The aforementioned signing of Poe and McCoy bolstered the entrance in a giant approach, and rolling the cube on Aldon Smith has paid off — no less than to this point — with the previous All-Pro having been reinstated to the league for this coming season. The Cowboys then used two draft picks in April, one to seize Neville Gallimore and the opposite on a hyper-promising edge rusher in Bradlee Anae, and the expectation stays Randy Gregory will comply with Smith in receiving reinstatement approval this summer time from league commissioner Roger Goodell.

And for his half, in an unique speak with CBS Sports, Gregory famous he’ll be “back for good” this time — the brand new collective bargaining settlement aiding him in that mission. 

As it stands, a separate supply confirms he has formally utilized, and is just ready on a verdict. The supply added that the delay seems to be extra red-tape primarily based than something that hints at a detrimental end result for Gregory, however time will inform in some way. Assuming Gregory is again as anticipated, he’ll rejoin a group that now additionally boasts All-Pro expertise in McCoy and Smith reverse DeMarcus Lawrence, and a promising rookie in Anae, together with the return of locker room and on-the-field chief Tyrone Crawford.

This is the second a lot of you say “cut Crawford!”, however that is not going to occur, and here is why.

Now totally recovered from damage that prematurely ended his 2019 marketing campaign, Crawford is just one 12 months faraway from delivering 5.5 sacks in a season and has confirmed largely sturdy over the course of his profession. One of the extra constant go rushers the Cowboys have fielded previously a number of seasons, Crawford not often missed time previous to 2019, and entered the 12 months with 22 sacks on his resume over the earlier 5 years (4.Four per) — one of many higher marks of any who’ve cashed a verify with Jerry Jones’ title on it since 2014. So sure, it is true Crawford will hit the Cowboys wage cap for a strong $9.1 million in 2020, he is additionally a key a part of what they’re wanting to do that coming season, given his capability to flex throughout the line of defense.

The group additionally noticed simply how essential he was in his absence, each on the sector and within the locker room, deepening his worth to the membership. Additionally, the Cowboys do not want the area that may be created by releasing Crawford, until they honestly felt a costlier Clowney can be of larger worth, but it surely’s not a foregone conclusion he can be — all issues thought-about.

Clowney is coming off of an unimpressive season that noticed him land solely three sacks in 11 begins, and he is not logged a double-digit sack season since getting into the league because the first-overall choose of the Houston Texans in 2014. That is not to say Clowney does not affect video games, as a result of he does, but it surely’s as an alternative to level out his price ticket is not commensurate with the present market worth on the place versus his manufacturing. In different phrases, with a present projected worth of $17.1 million (per Spotrac) on the open market, his preliminary ask of $20 million per 12 months was far too excessive, and groups might argue they’d prefer to see extra earlier than even assembly him on the $17 million mark. It would not be jaw-dropping to see a group pony up the $17 million, however that group will not be the Cowboys.

And that is even when they safe a lessened cap hit from a Prescott extension, as is predicted to occur. 

Dallas is just unwilling to chop out a big piece of the group’s locker room management — who additionally persistently produces on the sector and has typically redesigned his physique to accommodate positional wants — so as to add a participant who they really feel is extraordinarily costly once they might’ve merely paid Robert Quinn to remain put at a median of $14 million per 12 months (a man who posted a team-high 11.5 sacks for them solely months in the past and has 4 double-digit sack seasons in his profession). They additionally do not get pleasure from being up in opposition to the cap wall, so to talk, preferring to go away just a few million accessible going into any given season as “just in case” cash.

Fact is, there may be nothing that signifies the Cowboys view Clowney as the ultimate piece that will get them to Super Bowl LV, which is what he higher be if they’ll deliver him in at his asking worth; and on the expense of Crawford, no much less, whom the entrance workplace and locker room each adore. To additional drive house simply how a lot they worth Crawford whereas hinting at a doable improve in utilization in 2020, the group has to this point waved off any concept of asking the veteran to take a pay lower, as an alternative being completely wonderful along with his coming wage. It was initially a consideration, but it surely does not seem they will look to do it, and have not had any talks with Crawford in that regard.

That’s fairly revealing, in and of itself. 

Also, it is unlikely the Cowboys need to pay greater than $15 million for what may devolve right into a rotational piece — which might very effectively occur if Smith fires out of the gate alongside Crawford and/or Gregory. Instead, Clowney can be tasked with beating out others in camp for that nod, however that is additionally not the state of affairs he is seeking to enter. The 27-year-old is open to a one-year deal as a result of he desires to set himself up for a contract 12 months and big 2021 payday earlier than he nears the fallacious facet of 30, which suggests he desires to be promised the position of starter, making it odd he’d be googly-eyeing the Cowboys, assuming the reviews are true.

After seeing Quinn depart for Chicago, Jerry Jones and Co. have taken the required steps to not solely substitute him however arguably improve on the edge (if all goes to plan), leaving them presumably greater than wonderful because the group readies for a hanging new hybrid protection underneath Mike McCarthy and Mike Nolan. They’d be extra inclined, sources inform CBS Sports, to have a look at somebody like Everson Griffen, however even that’s contingent upon any accidents and, you guessed it, Griffen’s asking worth. The group had sturdy curiosity in Griffen early in free company, a lot not like Clowney, however the aforementioned signings and draft strikes have prompted the curiosity to chill significantly, albeit not disappear totally. 

When it involves Clowney, although? The fantasy of rumors is not married to the fact of reality. Hell, they have not even gone out on a date but.