Is He Serious? Jerry Jones Downplaying Interest in O.J. Atogwe

Jonathan LopezContributor IJune 4, 2010

IRVING, TX - JANUARY 13:  Owner of the Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones smiles on the sidelines before the NFC Divisional Playoff game against the New York Giants at Texas Stadium on January 13, 2008 in Irving, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Jerry Jones was asked Wednesday about his interest in former Rams safety OJ Atogwe.

The Rams and Atogwe couldn't reach an agreement on the 11:59 pm deadline Tuesday. 

Jones had this to say about the interest in Atogwe, "I'm ready to go into our season with the safeties we have," Jones said. "That might answer your question."

The problem is that it doesn't answer the question at all. 

Just because you're ready to go with the safeties you have, that doesn't neglect the possibility of O.J. wearing the silver star come the 2010 season. 

Jones is smart and he's been around for a while.  He knows, along with other teams (Philadelphia, Minnesota, and San Fransisco), that downplaying interest in a big name free agent can possibly lower the asking price. 

Atogwe is looking for a $7 million contract. 

So far, there aren't any teams willing to dish out that kind of cash, or else he'd be gone already.

Jones also said, "I'm not even for sure what his status is right now. He's a great safety, but really because I don't know what his status is, I couldn't comment. I know that they're involved in negotiations with him and that's enough for me."

There is no concrete yes or no there, that's enough for me to believe the Cowboys are still in the mix despite Jones's attempt to brush it under the rug.

Bottom line, O.J. Atogwe fits perfectly in the Cowboys defensive scheme. 

O.J. is one of, if not the most, underrated safeties in the league.  In the last four seasons, Atogwe has 18 interceptions and 14 forced fumbles (more F.F. than Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu). 

Those numbers are staggering compared to what we have been putting up the past seasons in those categories. Safety has been our weakest defensive link for the past couple of seasons. 

We have also been struggling creating interceptions.

This guy can fix both of those problems.

Quick side note, I believe that Gerald Sensabaugh and his desire for a contract is playing a huge role.

Put yourself in his shoes.

"They can't pay me but they can pay this guy $7 mill!" 

That puts Jerry in an awkward position. Sensabaugh played well last year, considering he played the majority of the season with one hand. 

If you bring in Atogwe, with our pass rush (Spencer) and our two pro bowl corners, we would have the best defense on paper, by the start of the season.


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