After winning his second Super Bowl with the LA Rams last season, Von Miller had aspirations of signing with the Cowboys.
Unfortunately for Dallas, they missed out on the eight-time pro bowler and three-time All-Pro pass rusher as Miller opted to play his 11th season as a Buffalo Bill, signing a six-year, $120 million deal.
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While Miller is seemingly past his prime, he still posted 9.5 sacks which tied him for the 18th most in the NFL. What can’t be measured by stats is Miller’s leadership and experience, both of which made him an asset for the Rams during their Super Bowl run.
Here’s how things went down between Von and the Cowboys:
Why Von Miller wanted to play in Dallas
Miller was born in DeSoto, which is 15 miles south of Dallas. He attended DeSoto High School before recording 33 sacks in four seasons at Texas A&M. This ranks fifth all time among Aggies pass rushers.
After spending his early years in the Lone Star state before being drafted in by the Denver Broncos in 2011, Miller wanted to come home.
A call to an old friend
Cowboys legend DeMarcus Ware spent the final three seasons of his career in Denver and he hoisted the Lombardi Trophy alongside Miller after winning Super Bowl 50. Playing in the same position group, the two became friends and Miller utilized his connection to gauge Dallas’ interest in him.
According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, this is how Ware said things unfolded:
“I remember when Von called me he said ‘Hey is Dallas interested? I’m a free agent. And I said, ‘What?! You’re a free agent, what do you mean you’re a free agent? I thought you had one more year?’ He was like, ‘No I’m done [with the Rams], bro.’ He said ‘Call Jerry [Jones] and them and see what they want to do.’ I said ‘Are you trying to get them to empty the bank account? What you trying to do?’”
Ware commented that he passed the info along to Jones, but it’s likely that Dallas was handcuffed by the salary cap when deciding to pass on Miller.
The Cowboys have already made some moves this offseason to free up cap room, like trading Amari Cooper, releasing La’el Collins and letting Randy Gregory walk in free agency.
But it’s hard for Cowboys fans to dream about what could’ve been if Miller was added to an already stacked core of pass rushers, headlined by Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence. Dallas also spent second round draft capital on Sam Williams, a linebacker who owns the single-season sack record at Ole Miss.
One thing that doesn’t need to be left to the imagination is the sigh of relief from Dallas’ opposing QBs after hearing how close they were to facing Miller along with Parsons, Lawrence and Williams.