New England Patriots defensive end Chris Long

NFL Rumors: Chris Long Choosing New England Patriots Over Dallas Cowboys

NFL rumors have been swirling around Chris Long. He’s one of the best available players left in free agency. Long has generated interest from several teams in the National Football League. One of those teams is the Dallas Cowboys, who are still looking for a pass rush. According to the Dallas Morning News, Chris has a visit scheduled with the Cowboys this week. Unfortunately for Dallas, though, it might not happen because he might be swooped up by the New England Patriots first.

The Dallas Cowboys desperately need help on the defensive line. Greg Hardy proved that he was not worth the trouble. He’s no longer the same player that he was when he was with the Carolina Panthers. Another player that the Cowboys have been disappointed in is Randy Gregory. The troubled defensive end has failed multiple drug tests. It also doesn’t help Dallas that the promising Demarcus Lawrence needed surgery after the season ended.

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy
Greg Hardy [Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]
In the Tampa 2 defense that Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli runs, the defensive line is required to generate a pass rush on their own. The linebackers are needed in zone coverage. Marinelli rarely blitzes his linebackers. The only reason why he has been doing it with more frequency as of late is because the Cowboys defensive linemen have not been getting to the quarterback frequently enough.

Chris Long is 31 years old. He’s no longer a long-term solution for any NFL team. However, Long is still at an age where he can be productive for a season or two. Since he’s not going to be demanding a huge sum of money, there’s interest from several teams in the National Football League. The Dallas Cowboys are interested in Long because they want to buy themselves time to find a defensive end in the upcoming NFL Draft and groom him.

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence
Demarcus Lawrence [Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]
The problem for the Dallas Cowboys is that Chris Long might be signed by the New England Patriots before he even makes it to Texas for a visit. When the team first expressed interest in Long, there were many who were puzzled. The Patriots had a plethora of pass rushers. Now that New England has decided to trade Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals, it makes a lot more sense why they would want to add Chris to their roster.

There are reports floating around that Chris Long has already agreed to a deal with the New England Patriots, so the Dallas Cowboys should definitely start looking into other options. Former Detroit Lions and Los Angeles Rams star Nick Fairley isn’t a defensive end. However, he can still be useful to the Cowboys by providing a rush at the defensive tackle position. Fairley has been looking for an NFL team that will allow him to showcase his enormous potential.

NFL rookie Joey Bosa
Joey Bosa [Joe Robbins/Getty Images]
Chris Long signing with the New England Patriots might force the Dallas Cowboys to change their plans for the upcoming NFL Draft. While many are under the belief that the Cowboys were going to spend their first-round draft pick on a defensive end, there are also those that think that Dallas could reach for a backup quarterback early. Interestingly enough, Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Joey Bosa could fill that role for the Cowboys, but he’s the type of guy that needs a veteran mentor like Long around.

Free agency in the NFL can be just as competitive as the games itself. The Dallas Cowboys really wanted Chris Long to be their stop gap solution at defensive end. The New England Patriots, however, provided Long with a better opportunity, so he took it as quick as possible.

[Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]