What’s the best way to cripple a hated rival and go for back to back division titles? By stealing their top free agents and convert them to another franchise, of course.
The Dallas Cowboys had a hectic final year under now-Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.
It was fun to watch, as an Eagles fan, his sinking franchise, slowly losing relevance in the big game. America’s team will never be the same again. Even worse for the Cowboys, they are set to lose big ground this free agency season, the perfect time for the Eagles to swoop in, take a few players, win the division again and stay on top of their biggest threat.
If the Cowboys wanted to sign Amari Cooper on a long-term deal – they would have done it by now. With money going into Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott’s pockets, there may not be enough money for Cooper. Meanwhile, the Eagles have nearly $50 million in cap space to work with.
Why not Cooper? The 26-year-old is in the prime of his career and coming off his best statistical season: 79 catches for 1,189 receiving yards, numbers that ranked seventh-best in the league at his position. In six NFL seasons, Cooper has racked up 357 receptions for 5,097 yards and 33 touchdowns. He’ll be looking for roughly $18 million per year. Go out and get him.
This has been said a million times in the past few weeks but a position in real need for the Eagles is cornerback and Byron Jones remains one of the NFL’s most promising young stars. The 27-year-old established himself as a lock-down corner in 2018 in his first full season on the outside after switching positions from safety.
According to Pro Football Focus, Jones finished with the 14th-best coverage grade among corners in 2018 (80.4) and the 21st-best in 2019 (74.8).
His critics will look at two interceptions in five seasons, but numbers don’t tell the full story here, Jones can play man coverage on the best receivers in football. But he’s going to warrant a salary of at least $12 million. Worth it if you want to become one of the NFC’s most feared teams.
This move depends on what the Eagles decide to do with Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod . The common assumption is GM Howie Roseman will bring both guys back – McLeod is a free agent whilst Jenkins has asked for a pay rise – but Heath could bring insurance down the line.
The 28-year-old could come relatively cheap, too. His base salary was only $2 million in 2019 and the Cowboys’ starter at strong safety is coming off left shoulder surgery. Heath said he’ll be healed in time for training camp. He has recorded 342 combined tackles in seven years in Dallas. Plus, he’s a solid specials teams contributor.
The Eagles could use a shot of adrenaline on the defensive line, specifically a powerful edge rusher. No one would fill that void better than Quinn. Jadeveon Clowney was considered earlier on in the season, but after the postseason row with him, I’m sure this won’t be happening anytime soon – well the fans definitely hope not anyway.
Quinn has 80.5 sacks since arriving in 2011. His 2013 campaign was one of the best of the modern era, a year where he finished with 19 total sacks and 93 quarterback pressures.
If the Eagles go for Cobb, it’ll definitely be a gamble. The 29-year- old was the 14th overall pick in 2011 and has seen a few ups and downs, but he’s got great speed.
Cobb did flash some speed and proved to be a reliable third-down target for Dak Prescott. Cobb played in 15 games and ranked favourably among NFL receivers — 40th in receiving yards (828), 58th in receptions (55) and 19th in yards per catch (15.1). Not too bad for someone who’s nearing the end of his career.
The best part about Cobb is his price tag, he played one season in Dallas on $5 million, and I don’t expect him to ask for a pay rise any time soon, so it’s a no brainier for Philly, really.