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Offseason | 2022

Stephen Jones On Why Wagner "Didn't Work Out"


When Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones met with the media Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings, free-agent linebacker Bobby Wagner was still unsigned.

But from the sound of things, the possibility of him signing with the Cowboys seems over.

Jones explained why "it didn't work out" in adding Wagner to the defense and reuniting him with Dan Quinn, who coached the eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker in Seattle.

"Obviously Dan's had a history with Bobby knows him well," Jones said. "But it was one of those situations where you look into it – great football player, Hall of Fame football player. But as it turned out, it didn't work out with us."

Wagner, who serves as his own agent, is reportedly looking for a deal in the neighborhood of $11 million a season. As of Tuesday, he was linked to having mutual interest in signing with the Ravens and Rams.

Wagner has played his entire 10-year career with the Seahawks, including two seasons under Quinn as the DC. He was recently waived by Seattle for salary-cap reasons.

When asked about the linebacker position for his own team, Jones said he's not as concerned with the depth, that currently includes Micah Parsons, Leighton Vander Esch, Luke Gifford and Jabril Cox.

"We'll feel good about it. As you know, some people in the building consider (safety) Jayron Kearse a linebacker," Jones said. "We don't need as many backers as we used to because we play that hybrid style with our safeties there. But, we're not heavy with numbers. Certainly we can do better there but I wouldn't say it's a huge priority before the draft."

Jones mentioned Cox, who is rehabbing a torn ACL he suffered midway through his rookie season last year.

"He's doing really well. Feel great about it, feel great that he's the right fit with what Dan wants to do defensively," Jones said. "He'll be a big plus for us this year – probably fit right in where Keanu (Neal) left off. I think he's got great coverage skills. A good offseason with him will be good for him. I really like his upside."

One of the big reasons linebacker depth is so important is the Parsons factor. Because he had 13.5 sacks last year, half of which occurring from the edge position, Parsons is expected to get even more rushes from the defensive end spot in 2022. But to do that, the Cowboys must have some quality depth at linebacker to fill the void when he's rushing from other areas.

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