The Dallas Cowboys and the New England Patriots are reportedly eyeing a deal with free agent Chris Long, who has drawn the interest of several teams this offseason.
The Cowboys were viewed as a potential landing spot for Long, but Dallas Morning News reported that Dallas might not even get the chance to discuss a possible deal with the veteran defensive end.
According to the report, Long wants to visit Dallas this week but no specific date has been set. Long's trip to Dallas now remains left hanging in the balance, knowing that the Patriots could make a strong pitch and be able to convince the former St. Louis Rams DE to commit before having a chance to talk to the Cowboys.
The Cowboys are looking to shore up their defensive line this summer because of the uncertainty surrounding their roster after Greg Hardy and Jeremy Mincey became unrestricted free agents this summer. They will also play without Randy Gregory in their first four games next season after the DE was suspended for substance abuse policy violation.
Long, who is the second overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, spent the first eight seasons of his career with St. Louis Rams before he was cut last month. The 31-year-old, who inked a four-year contract worth $48.2 million with the Rams in 2013, started in just 11 games for St. Louis in the last two years, as he was slowed down by injuries.
The Cowboys are expected to make moves this offseason to improve their title chances next season. In fact, they have created addition $7.2 million in cap room after restructuring Tyrone Crawford's contract. According to ESPN, Dallas could create more room if he they can rework on the contracts of Dez Bryant and Tony Romo.
Aside from the Cowboys and the Patriots, the Atlanta Falcons and the Washington Redskins are also interested in acquiring Long this summer. Long has already visited Atlanta and Washington but did not reach an agreement, which gave Dallas and New England chances to make their own pitch.
But according to Falcons coach Dan Quinn, he still feels they have a good chance at signing Long to a deal in the coming weeks after the talks between the two parties went well.
"The visit went well, I thought," Quinn told reporters via ESPN. "In terms of the connection with Chris, it was an instant one. I've always had respect for his game, the toughness, the attitude."