Should The Cowboys Pursue Jones?

Receiver Matt Jones was released by the Jaguars this morning.

“Anyone who has followed the Cowboys knows Jerry Jones has a huge man crush on the former Arkansas receiver.” -- Jean Jacques Taylor

Less than a week after the owner suggested that the Cowboys were set at wide receiver, Matt Jones has been cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars. This is intriguing, if only because, as Jean Jacque Taylor said in his DMN blog, Jerry has a “huge man crush” on the 28 year-old.
But if Jones believes in serendipity, and moves on the now-unemployed receiver, what will it mean for the Cowboys’ offense?
There’s no doubt that Jones is an exceptional athlete; he was labeled “the Freak” at the combine, and with good reason. After measuring in at six foot six and 242 lbs, Jones ran the 40 yard dash in between 4.37 and 4.4 seconds, and registered 39.5 inches in the vertical. He was drafted 21st overall by the Jaguars in what was thought to be (and later, it seems, proved) a risky move. Jones went into camp that year with no extensive experience at wide receiver.
The reasons behind Jerry’s man crush, then, seem to be myriad. However, as there always is, there’s more to the story of Matt Jones.
Namely, Jones has struggled throughout his short NFL career, both on and off the field.
Jones’ first two seasons looked promising, as the first rounder brought down nine touchdowns. However, 2007 saw a falloff of sorts for Jones, who didn’t catch a touchdown pass until week 8 against the Buccaneers. He ended that season with four touchdown grabs on only twenty-four catches.
Then, in 2008, Jones had his most productive season despite a pre-season arrest for possession of a controlled substance (read: cocaine). He caught 65 passes last year, tallying 761 yards and two touchdowns despite being suspended for the Jags last three games for his violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy.
Jones then failed a drug test last week due to alcohol in his system. This was the final straw for the Jaguars, and he was released earlier today.
Aside from his off-the-field indiscretions, Jones was often the target of critics and even coaches. His relationship with head coach Jack Del Rio was strained at best; Del Rio was often critical of Jones’ laid-back approach to the game, and Jones was often unhappy with his limited role within the Jags’ offense.
Jones seems, as he was on draft day 2005, to be a risk, but the Cowboys have never been shy about taking a risk on a plus athlete. Further, with a receiving corps that is questionable at best, Jones could be crucial in shoring up the field; namely, with Jones’ speed, he can stretch the field.
This should be a top priority in the absence of that one guy… What was his name?
Oh, yeah, Terrell Owens.

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