The Dallas Cowboys will bring in free agent Kony Ealy for a visit this week as they look to add some depth to their roster prior to the 2018 NFL draft.
The Dallas Cowboys are bringing in defensive end Kony Ealy for a visit this week as they look to add some depth to their roster. The Cowboys have been very active in free agency this year after a pretty slow start to the offseason. Now they are really ramping up their activity as the 2018 NFL draft is only weeks away.
Adding a defensive end would make a lot of sense at this stage of the offseason as the team will only fortify themselves more at what has generally been a position of need. Ealy was drafted in the second round of the 2014 draft by the Carolina Panthers.
This continues the Cowboys trend of bringing in former high picks who have “underachieved” after being highly touted coming out of college. Ealy has the size (6’4, 273lbs) and the athleticism to really make an impact for Dallas.
He is also the kind of role player/versatile pass rusher the Cowboys could use to really help solidify their emerging pass rush. At 26 years old Ealy is still in the prime of his career and should only get more productive if he can find a franchise to stick with. He has been in talks with the New York Jets for weeks but that ship may have sailed.
He spent his 2017 season with the New York Jets and in four games picked up a sack and an interception. During his tenure with Carolina, he produced 14 sacks and also a single interception. The story only gets deeper as Ealy is a player that the Dallas Cowboys wanted to draft back in 2014 if the team had not traded up to select Demarcus Lawrence.
The Cowboys had another chance of putting Ealy on the roster as they put in a waiver claim for him in August. Ealy was won by the Jets and here we are. With Dallas Ealy can really flourish as he will have a ton of talent around him and will once again play for a team that is a contender.
The Jets have gotten better but even with an ample amount of cap space have struggled to draw players to a rebuilding organization (just ask Allen Hurns). Ealy would immediately make the Cowboys pass rush better but more importantly will give them security when it comes down to the defensive line and the draft.
Adding Ealy may allow Dallas to focus on another position of need instead of drafting an end for the sake of depth. Adding Ealy to the roster means the Dallas Cowboys could load up on linebackers or even trade a pick to move up in the draft to acquire the linebacker of their choice.
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Draft flexibility plus Ealy’s production should make the Cowboys want to add him to the roster, at the right price. Dallas does not have a lot to offer right now unless they know something the fans do not. If a looming contract extension for Zack Martin and/or Demarcus Lawrence is about to happen, I cannot see the Cowboys signing Ealy for big bucks.
A one year, incentive-laden deal could be possible but really the ball will be in Ealy’s court. Does he want to be with an unstable franchise that has been in the basement of the AFC East for years or does he want to take less money for more opportunity with an established contender?
That is the choice he will have to make and who knows all of this activity by the Dallas Cowboys could continue well past the draft.