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Could Cowboys turn to Jamal Adams to solve safety woes?

New York Jets star Jamal Adams is unhappy with his contract so don’t be surprised if he ends up linked to the Dallas Cowboys who have a long standing need at safety
Credit: AP
New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) points something out during the first half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Steve Luciano)

DALLAS —

The circus is back in town as another big name player linked to the Dallas Cowboys might have become available. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, New York Jets safety Jamal Adams is not expected to take part in the virtual off-season program for the team without a new contract.

If true, the Cowboys should be interested in acquiring the two-time All-Pro, who grew up near Dallas. Adams has been on the radar since October, when the Cowboys inquired about what it would take to pry the former sixth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft out of LSU from the Jets. 

The asking price of a first-round pick, along with two-second round selections, was too rich for the Cowboys. 

There were also rumors the Jets modified the compensation to include one of Dallas’ starting offensive linemen. If that price to trade for Adams remains, there likely won’t be a deal.

However, perhaps things have changed and the Jets aren’t willing to pay Adams or have a disgruntled player on the roster. If the Jets are willing to accept a lesser package, perhaps a first-round pick, which is what the Cowboys were offering at the trade deadline last season, would get the deal done. 

Perhaps the Cowboys would need to sweeten the pot, say a future second or third-round pick, to complete the trade.

These are options that should be considered by the Cowboys, who haven’t had a perennial Pro Bowl player at safety since Roy Williams some 15 years ago. There aren’t many safeties in the NFL, or in the 2020 NFL Draft, who are in Adams’ class and Dallas would be wise to inquire about his services again.

Another wrinkle in a possible trade is Adams’ desire for a new contract. The going rate for an elite safety is around $15 million per year. The highest paid player at the position is currently Eddie Jackson of the Chicago Bears, at $14.6 million annually. Dallas would likely need to top Jackson’s rate if they dealt for Adams. 

The Cowboys currently have just north of $17 million in salary cap space but they would likely need to clear out room and possibly sign QB Dak Prescott to a long-term deal to make it work (which could be a side benefit to adding Adams). With Stephen Jones’ tight grip on the pocket book these days, it could be tough to part with draft capital and the money.

Cowboys fans shouldn’t get their expectations up too high. This isn’t their first rodeo of believing the team should acquire a big-time safety. Earl Thomas kicked off the maddening cycle a few years ago when the Texas native told then head coach Jason Garrett to “come get me” after a game. 

Thomas never arrived, not even when he hit free agency last off-season. Nor has Tyrann Mathieu, Eric Berry or any other good safety over the past few years. 

The Cowboys also ignored the position in the 2019 draft when almost all of the top safeties in the class were on the board when Dallas’ pick arrived in the second-round. Instead, the Cowboys selected defensive tackle Trysten Hill with their first selection and the former Central Florida standout contributed zero starts and just four tackles in seven games of action.

However, Garrett is no longer the head coach and Rod Marinelli is no longer the defensive coordinator. Things have changed in Dallas, the time has come for the Cowboys to address the safety position with an elite player.

It’s not often an All-Pro player becomes available in their prime, but that looks like the case with Jamal Adams. The Cowboys should have serious interest and find out what the price would be to acquire the stud safety. 

Do you think the Cowboys should solve their safety concerns by trading for Jamal Adams? Share your thoughts with Ben on Twitter @BenGrimaldi.

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