Von Miller could not have had a better debut with the Bills. The edge rusher made four tackles, two sacks and three tackles for loss in Buffalo’s impressive season-opening Rout of the Rams.
Cowboys’ Twitter immediately went into overdrive, thinking about what might have been.
After the Cowboys lost edge rusher Randy Gregory in free agency this spring, they showed interest in Miller. Miller grew up a huge Cowboys fan in the Dallas suburb of DeSoto, which is 25 miles from AT&T Stadium.
Miller has said he was willing to give the Cowboys a “hometown discount.” But the Cowboys reportedly offered him the same five-year, $70 million deal they offered Gregory, which included two guaranteed years.
Miller, 33, also had an offer with two guaranteed years from the Rams.
He received a six-year, $120 million deal with the Bills that includes $51.4 million guaranteed in the first three years.
Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones was asked Friday if he had any regrets after seeing what Miller did Thursday night.
“Von Miller is a great football player,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan, via Mark Lane of WFAA. “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 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 to us here in a year or two. Just made a conscientious decision there that we wanted to go with the direction that we went.”
Miller, who has a Super Bowl ring with the Broncos and another with the Rams, has 117.5 career sacks. That ranks 31st in NFL history and first among active players.
The Cowboys instead signed Dante Fowler in free agency, and he will back up Dorance Armstrong opposite DeMarcus Lawrence. Armstrong, Fowler and Lawrence have combined for 91 career sacks, although linebacker Micah Parsons had 13 sacks last season in winning NFL defensive rookie of the year honors.