Cowboys Urged to Sign Ex-Jaguars WR After Recent Release

The Dallas Cowboys added a few receivers through the NFL draft and undrafted free agency wave, but they could still add a veteran WR. After two years with the Jacksonville Jaguars, NFL pass-catcher and Dallas-native Zay Jones is back on the market.

Jones was released this week after the Jaguars drafted Brian Thomas Jr. in the first round of this year’s draft. For Blogging the Boys writer David Howman, Jones makes a lot of sense as a signing.

“The Cowboys could definitely use a veteran receiver alongside Lamb and Cooks, at least in case Jalen Tolbert doesn’t take another step forward in his development this offseason… Jones represents a veteran presence with proven ability as a third receiving option, and his market could fit into the Cowboys’ financial plans,” Howman wrote on May 1.

It’s worth mentioning that Jones is the son of Robert Jones, a former first-round pick by the Cowboys. Robert won three Super Bowls with Dallas, while his son Zay is still searching for his first.

Dallas could do far worse than Jones, but he’s not a game-changing addition. Still, his production in a secondary role with Jacksonville bodes well for a similar spot in Dallas.

Zay Jones Looking for 4th NFL Team

Jones first entered the NFL in the 2017 NFL draft as a second-round pick by the Buffalo Bills. While he had a solid 2018 campaign, the majority of his time in Buffalo can be summed up by the fact that he was traded midway through the 2019 season.

The Las Vegas Raiders dealt a fifth-round pick for Jones, and it initially looked like a poor move. Through his first 26 games in 2019 and 2020, Jones had just 34 catches for 301 yards and 1 touchdown.

But as Pro Football Reference shows, the 29-year-old found his game in 2021. Jones caught 47 passes for 546 receiving yards and one touchdown. But despite an uptick in production, Jones was not brought back after his contract ran out the following offseason.

The Jaguars picked him up and saw immediate dividends. Jones had his best season yet in 2022, catching 82 passes for 823 yards and 5 touchdowns. Injuries hampered his 2023 season, as Jones only played 9 games and amassed 321 yards and 2 touchdowns on 34 catches.

Cowboys Add New Crop of WRs

In the actual draft this year, Dallas only added one WR: Ryan Flournoy. Flournoy is a prospect out of SE Missouri State, and was taken in the sixth round. While Flournoy is not well known in the football world, but was an important player for the Redhawks.

Flournoy totaled 1823 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns in two years at SEMO. In terms of translating to the NFL, he has ideal size at 6’2″ and 200 pounds.

But Flournoy is not the only new receiver joining the team, as they also added two more in their UDFA class. The Cowboys also signed Cam Johnson from Northwestern and Corey Crooms from Minnesota. Both WRs took similar paths to the NFL, playing the majority of their college career at one school and then transferring late to make their case.

Johnson’s lateral quickness is his primary tool and is coming off a 54-reception season with 715 yards and 6 touchdowns. Meanwhile, Crooms boasts sure hands but was not a major factor for Minnesota with 28 receptions for 376 yards in 2023.

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