Jayron Kearse

NFC East Notes: Commanders, Kearse, Giants

Battling a turf toe issue sustained Monday night, Terry McLaurin will not need surgery. But an extended rest period is underway. This hiatus has the top Commanders skill-position talent uncertain to be ready by Week 1, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Jeremy Fowler (Twitter links). McLaurin has not missed a game due to injury since 2020. The Commanders have made some big investments at wide receiver since starting McLaurin’s tenure off with little around him. Curtis Samuel is going into the final season of his three-year, $34.5MM contract, and the team has first-rounder Jahan Dotson going into his second season. But McLaurin has been one of the NFL’s best receivers, totaling his third straight 1,000-yard season months after signing a three-year, $69.6MM extension.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Miller, Kearse, Commanders, Eagles, Seumalo, Giants

Being Von Miller‘s hometown team, the Cowboys had a recruiting advantage this offseason. Miller expressed interest in returning to the Broncos, but when that did not happen, he opened the door to a hometown discount with the Cowboys. Dallas’ offer was believed to be the same one it proposed now-Denver-stationed Randy Gregory — five years, $70MM. Miller moved on, choosing the Bills’ three guaranteed years ahead of Rams proposal that would have paid him more in the short term. After Gregory spurned the Cowboys, they opted for a thriftier trip through the pass-rushing market.

Von Miller is a great football player,” Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones said on 105.3 The Fan, via Pro Football Talk’s Charean Williams. “I mean, you see them play at that level and especially this early there is a lot of school of thought on older guys like that that when you really get those guys are for more so for the playoffs than it is for the first part, middle of the season. Now, granted, I’m sure there was a little bit of motivation for Von playing for the Rams and winning a Super Bowl to go out there and showcase what he’s all about.

There is a lot of players that if there was unlimited cap space that you could do things, but that wasn’t a short-term, one-year deal. It was a long-term deal, and we had to not only look at what we’re doing this year but look at what is going to be coming at us here in a year or two. Just made a conscientious decision there that we wanted to go with the direction that we went.”

The Cowboys turned to a committee approach to replace Gregory, re-signing Dorance Armstrong, adding Dante Fowler as a UFA and drafting Sam Williams in Round 2. Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • Brian Robinson continues to make progress after suffering two gunshot wounds on August 28. The rookie Commanders running back attended practice for the first time since being shot in the hip and knee. The third-round pick had a wrap around his right knee but did footwork and agility drills on a side field, per the Washington Post’s Nicki Jhabvala. Robinson is eligible to come off Washington’s reserve/NFI list in Week 5.
  • The Eagles created some cap space this week. They restructured Isaac Seumalo‘s contract, according to ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter). A $4.62MM chunk of Seumalo’s base salary is now a signing bonus, opening up $3.69MM in cap room. The Eagles now hold nearly $11MM in space, a total that sits sixth in the league. This is Seumalo’s contract year, though four void years are on the deal as well now. The team not doing another deal with the starting guard by the start of the 2023 league year would create a $7.53MM dead-money charge.
  • Second-year Giants cornerback Aaron Robinson will be out for Week 2 due to an appendix removal, Brian Daboll said (via the New York Post’s Paul Schwartz). This likely will be a multigame absence for the first-year starter, Schwartz adds. Robinson, a 2021 third-round pick, played every Giants defensive snap opposite Adoree’ Jackson in Week 1. This depletes an already-thin position group for the Giants, who cut James Bradberry months ago. The team did draft slot option Cor’Dale Flott in Round 3, claimed ex-Steelers third-rounder Justin Layne via waivers and added ex-Washington and Atlanta starter Fabian Moreau to its practice squad. Of the three, Moreau is by far the most experienced option.
  • The Cowboys will be without one of their starting safeties for a while. Jayron Kearse sustained an MCL sprain in Week 1, per Jerry Jones (via ESPN.com’s Todd Archer, on Twitter). Kearse, who impressed as a Cowboys starter last year, re-signed with the team for two years and $10MM this offseason. He is expected to be out between two and four weeks. The Cowboys had a rough Week 1 on the injury front, losing Dak Prescott and Connor McGovern as well. Malik Hooker figures to step into the starting lineup alongside Donovan Wilson.

Cowboys Re-Sign S Jayron Kearse

Jayron Kearse will be back in Dallas next season. The versatile safety is re-signing with the Cowboys, reports Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News (on Twitter).

It’s a two-year, $10MM deal with a max value of $11MM, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (on Twitter). The deal includes $5MM in guaranteed money, per Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com (on Twitter).

After joining the Cowboys on a one-year deal last offseason, the 28-year-old had a breakout season in 2021. Kearse finished the campaign having started 15 of his 16 games, finishing with 101 tackles, one sack, 10 passes defended, and two interceptions. The defensive back’s size and speed means Cowboys DC Dan Quinn can utilize him all over the field, and the coaching staff is a big reason why the player wanted to stick around Dallas.

“I know Coach Q[uinn] believes in me,” Kearse said (via Gehlken on Twitter). “I know my DB coach believes in me. Everyone in the building believes in me.“

Despite the mutual respect, it took the two sides a while to agree to a new contract. When fellow breakout defender Dorance Armstrong inked his new deal with the Cowboys last week, we heard that the team and Kearse weren’t close on a deal. The two sides apparently worked through the weekend to get the deal done, and now the veteran will be staying with the Cowboys.

A former seventh-round pick, Kearse spent four seasons with the Vikings to start his career before spending the majority of the 2020 campaign with the Lions.

Cowboys Re-Sign DE Dorance Armstrong

Dorance Armstrong has parlayed a breakout season into a new contract. The Cowboys are re-signing the defensive end, reports ESPN’s Todd Archer (on Twitter). Armstrong is signing a two-year pact worth $13MM.

The 2018 fourth-round pick has spent his entire four-year career in Dallas, but he really emerged in 2021. After collecting 2.5 sacks through his first 46 career games, Armstrong finished this past season with five sacks in 13 games (five starts). The defensive lineman also added another 37 tackles and 12 QB hits.

In total, Armstrong has appeared in 59 games (eight starts), collecting 98 tackles, 7.5 sacks, and a pair of forced fumbles.

While Armstrong is back with the Cowboys, the same can’t be said of safety Jayron Kearse. According to Calvin Watkins of Dallas Morning News (on Twitter), the Cowboys aren’t close to a new contract with the free agent defensive back.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 1/13/22

Today’s updates for the reserve/COVID-19 and practice squad/COVID-19 lists:

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Jacksonville Jaguars

New Orleans Saints

Pittsburgh Steelers

Washington Football Team

Cowboys Activate S Jayron Kearse

The Cowboys continue to get closer to full strength ahead of their playoff opener. Safety Jayron Kearse has been activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list, per a team update

Kearse was placed on the virus list on January 8th, which kept him out of the team’s regular season finale. He had played in each of the other 16 games this season, his first in Dallas. With a team-leading 101 tackles, along with 10 pass breakups and two interceptions, the Cowboys will certainly welcome his return to the field. In particular, he will play a key role in defending 49ers tight end George Kittle – a matchup that will go a long way to determining the outcome of Sunday’s game.

The 27-year-old is the latest Cowboy to come back onto the roster. Micah Parsons and Tyron Smith were among those activated off of the virus list yesterday. Assuming Kearse can practice sometime this week, nearly every member of the 53 man roster will have practiced leading up to the first game in what the team hopes will be a deep postseason run.


NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 1/8/22

Today’s updates for the reserve/COVID-19 and practice squad/COVID-19 lists:

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Football Team

Cowboys Rule Out Three For Week 18

More names are being added to the list of players the Cowboys will be without for Saturday’s regular season finale against the Eagles. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that cornerback Trevon Diggs, safety Jayron Kearse and running back Tony Pollard will not travel with the team to Philadelphia. As such, they have been ruled out. 

The news comes after Dallas learned of multiple other key pieces they will be without on Saturday. Defensive Rookie of the Year frontrunner Micah Parsons tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, and it was announced that the same was true of left tackle Tyron Smith and cornerback Anthony Brown on Thursday. A non-COVID illness is listed as the reason for Diggs’ absence, while hamstring and foot injuries are ailments sidelining Kearse and Pollard, respectively.

The loss to the secondary is huge for the Cowboys. Diggs has had a breakthrough second NFL season, with a league-leading 11 interceptions (two of which have been returned for touchdowns) along with 21 passes defensed. Kearse, meanwhile, has registered 101 tackles, two interceptions and 10 passes defensed in 16 games in 2021. Without these two starters, options to fill in include Kelvin Joseph at corner and Donovan Wilson at safety.

As for Pollard, Dallas will miss his production as well. His third season has been his best, posting 719 yards and two touchdowns on 130 carriers (for a 5.5 yards per carry average) along with 39 catches for 339 yards in the passing game. Without him, the Cowboys may need to lean more heavily on starter Ezekiel Elliott just one week before the playoffs start. In the event they want to keep him as fresh as possible, though, Corey Clement could see a big uptick in usage.

Of course, all of these absences would matter much more to the Cowboys if they extend beyond this week; Dallas has already clinched the NFC East, while the Eagles are also guaranteed a postseason berth regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s game.


Cowboys To Sign S Jayron Kearse

The Cowboys held auditions for safeties today, and it sounds like at least one of the auditionees will be joining the team. Josina Anderson reports (via Twitter) that the team will be signing safety Jayron Kearse to a one-year deal.

Kearse signed a one-year, $2.75MM deal with the Lions last offseason and proceeded to have a career year. He was suspended for the first three games of the 2020 campaign for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, but he ultimately finished the year with a career-high 59 tackles in 11 games (seven starts). He was waived by the Lions late in the season and spent the rest of the season on the Ravens practice squad.

Malik Hooker and Damontae Kazee were also among the safeties who were visiting the Cowboys today, and Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News tweets that the Kearse signing doesn’t preclude the team from adding another player at the position. In fact, Gehlken adds that the Cowboys are “engaged in contract negotiations” with Kazee’s camp, but the sides haven’t agreed on a deal.

The Cowboys have been busy revamping their safeties corps. The team is set to add Keanu Neal, adding the veteran to a core that includes 2020 starter Donovan Wilson.

Cowboys Hosting S Jayron Kearse

Malik Hooker and Damontae Kazee won’t be the only two safeties visiting the Cowboys. ESPN’s Todd Archer reports (via Twitter) that Dallas will also be hosting defensive back Jayron Kearse. Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News tweets that the auditions will take place tomorrow.

The 2016 seventh-round pick had spent the first four seasons of his career with the Vikings, missing only a pair of regular season games over that span. He ultimately started five of his 62 games for the organization, compiling 79 tackles, 0.5 sacks, eight passes defended, and one interception.

Kearse signed a one-year, $2.75MM deal with the Lions last offseason. He was later suspended for the first three games of the 2020 campaign for violating the substance-abuse policy, and he ultimately saw time in 11 games (seven starts) for his new squad, compiling a career-high 59 tackles. He was waived by the Lions late in the season and spent the rest of the season on the Ravens practice squad.

Now, the 27-year-old will have an opportunity to catch on with the Cowboys. Watkins notes that the Cowboys interest in Kearse, Hooker, and Kazee (along with the signing of Keanu Neal) doesn’t mean the team is done with Donovan Wilson, who started 10 games for the Cowboys last season. Rather, the team’s just looking to improve their defensive backs corps.