Von Miller couldn’t have had a better debut for the Bills. The edge rusher had four tackles, two sacks and three tackles for the loss in the Rams’ impressive season-opening rout at Buffalo.
The Cowboys Twitter immediately kicked into high gear thinking about what could have been.
After the Cowboys lost Randy Gregory in free agency this spring, they showed interest in Miller. Miller grew up as a huge Cowboys fan in the Dallas suburb of DeSoto, 25 miles from AT&T Stadium.
Miller 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 a guaranteed two-year offer from the Rams.
He was given a six-year, $120 million contract with the Bills, with $51.4 million guaranteed in the first three years.
Cowboys executive vice-president Stephen Jones was asked on Friday if he had any regrets after seeing what Miller did Thursday night.
“Von Miller is a great football player,” Jones told 105.3 The Fan, via WFAA’s Mark Lane. “I mean you see them playing at that level and especially so early on there’s a lot of school of thought about older guys like that when you really get those guys are more for the playoffs than for the first part, mid-season. Now, okay, I’m sure there was some motivation for Von to play for the Rams and win a Super Bowl to go out there and show what he is. There are a lot of players who if there was unlimited cap space you could do things, but it wasn’t a one-year short-term contract. It was a long-term deal, and we not only had to look at what we were doing this year, but also what was going to happen to us here in a year or two. I just made a conscious decision there that we wanted to go in the direction we were going.
Miller, who has a Super Bowl ring with the Broncos and another with the Rams, has 117.5 career sacks. This ranks 31st in NFL history and first in active players.
The Cowboys signed Dante Fowler in free agency instead, and he will back Dorance Armstrong against DeMarcus Lawrence. Armstrong, Fowler and Lawrence have combined for 91 career sacks, although linebacker Micah Parsons had 13 sacks last season in earning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.