Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys release K Mike Nugent, sign DE Datone Jones to help faltering pass rush

Former Green Bay Packers defensive end Datone Jones (95) was signed by the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday to help their ailing pass rush.
Former Green Bay Packers defensive end Datone Jones (95) was signed by the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday to help their ailing pass rush. Star-Telegram

The Dallas Cowboys made a move to help their suddenly faltering pass rush Sunday with the signing of defensive end Datone Jones.

Of the Cowboys’ 28 sacks, just one has come in the past three games, coinciding with the team’s three-game losing streak, all in blowout fashion. It was capped by last Thursday’s 28-6 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers when Phillip Rivers was barely touched while completing 27 of 33 passes for 434 yards and three touchdowns.

The Cowboys defense has now gone 27 drives without a sack.

So the Cowboys released kicker Mike Nugent, who became expendable with the return to health of Dan Bailey, and are rolling the dice with Jones, a former 2013 first-round bust of the Green Bay Packers.

Jones has nine sacks in 62 career games and now with his fourth team in 2017. He signed with the Minnesota Vikings in the offseason but was released before the start of the season. He was picked up by the Detroit Lions, lasting only a week. He then played three games with the San Francisco 49ers before being cut last week.

Coach Jason Garrett said the team was looking to add a veteran player to help with the rush. They believe he can rush from both the end and tackle spots.

“We liked him a lot coming out in the draft and really just want to get him in the mix,” Garrett said. “We want to get him out at practice and just see how he fits and we feel like he has some versatility in our evaluation of him when he came out of school. And so we’ll just see how he practices and where he can fit in our defensive front.”

Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence leads the team with 11.5 sacks but has had none since the 27-7 loss to Atlanta Falcons three weeks ago.

Defensive tackle David Irving had six sacks in his first four games after missing the first four game of the season on NFL suspension. But he has had no sacks the three games.

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