The Dallas Cowboys have had a terrible offseason so far, and it only got worse after they missed out on the opportunity to acquire a future Hall of Famer and one of the greatest players to grace the gridiron.
All-time great pass rusher Von Miller, after signing a lucrative deal with the Buffalo Bills, recently stated that he would’ve signed with the Dallas Cowboys for a lesser contract offer.
Von Miller, 33, was traded to the Los Angeles Rams right before the trade deadline back in November and went on to help them win a Super Bowl.
After winning his second championship, Miller signed a massive six-year, $120 million deal with the Buffalo Bills, securing a major bag and some financial security for the foreseeable future.
Though he ultimately went where he felt he most belonged, it sounds like the Dallas native preferred to return home to play out the remainder of his career.
Hometown Discount Wasn’t Enough
In an interview with The Athletic, Miller explained that he was more than willing to have taken a pay cut to play with his hometown Dallas Cowboys. Though he also explains it wouldn’t have been “that much less” of a pay cut.
“I told them I was ready to come to the Cowboys,” Miller said. “I would have taken less to go to Dallas because it’s Dallas. But I wouldn’t take that much less.”
For those who are looking for an estimate of how much less Miller would’ve taken, look no further than the Cowboys offering their former edge rusher Randy Gregory a five-year, $70 million contract to re-sign with them.
While Gregory backed out of that Dallas offer at the last minute and went on to sign with Miller’s former Denver Broncos team, Miller was offered a similar contract by Dallas as well.
Perhaps if Buffalo didn’t offer a mind-blowing contract, Miller might’ve taken that Cowboys deal with a few more incentives, a higher signing bonus, or more guaranteed money.
The Future Is Bright
But Buffalo, an all-around better team than Dallas in almost every aspect, offered Miller his six-year deal for $120 million, with $50 million in guaranteed money, which was too tempting to turns down.
This was a tactful strategy from Buffalo, as Von Miller may prove to be the final piece they need to get over the hump. Buffalo was literally one possession away from getting to the AFC Championship Game last year, before they ultimately lost to Magic Man Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime.
After losing a controversial offensive slugfest, Buffalo — which allowed the fewest points per game last season — wanted even to get even better on defense, which prompted them to pursue Miller aggressively.
Meanwhile the Cowboys, who are already paying their current stars like Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot lucrative amounts of money, probably couldn’t afford to get anywhere near Buffalo’s offer for Miller.
A gut-wrenching reality for Dallas is that not only did they miss out on signing a game-changing pass rusher who wanted nothing but to play for them, but they also lost a ton of pivotal players in the offseason already. Departures included the aforementioned Randy Gregory, the traded star receiver Amari Cooper, and other crucial players like safety Keanu Neal, tackle La’el Collins, and guard Connor Williams.
To make matters even worse, other teams in the NFC improved, including the Philadelphia Eagles, who appear poised to give Dallas a run for its money for the NFC East title.
What Could Have Been
A Dallas native, Miller spent his whole pre-professional career playing football in Texas. Playing high school ball at DeSoto and then playing college football at Texas A&M.
Broncos best defensive draft picks this century
ED: Von Miller (1.2011)
DL: Derek Wolfe (2.2012)
LB: Danny Trevathan (6.2012)
CB: Patrick Surtain II (1.2021)
S: Justin Simmons (3.2016) pic.twitter.com/Wv7J3xiEt0
— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) April 28, 2022
The Denver Broncos drafted Miller with the second overall pick in the 2011 draft, and he spent 10 years in Denver before getting traded to the Rams. While things could’ve come full circle for Dallas and Miller, Dallas missed their chance at getting the future Hall of Famer and simply could not afford his services, even with Miller willing to take less money.