Eagles castoff Jackson not a good fit for Cowboys

When the news broke Friday that the Eagles had released DeSean Jackson, it was natural to think the Cowboys might have an interest. After all, the Cowboys have some experience in taking on disgruntled former Philadelphia receivers.

But no matter how you view the success or failure of the Terrell Owens era in Dallas, nobody should be getting their popcorn ready for the Cowboys to sign DeSean Jackson.

Apparently, Eagles coach Chip Kelly had had enough of Jackson’s bad attitude. It was also reported by NJ.com that the Eagles had concerns about Jackson’s associations with Los Angeles gang members.

Regardless of the validity of that claim, the talented Jackson is better off being someone else’s problem.

Oh sure, the Cowboys could make it work, at least initially.

Remember how Owens, as a San Francisco 49er, was reviled by Cowboys fans for celebrating a touchdown on the star in the middle of Texas Stadium? A few years later, Owens is a fan favorite in Dallas.

It could be the same with Jackson, who once fell backwards into the end zone at AT&T Stadium, like the old Nestea Plunge commercials, after breaking free for a 91-yard touchdown. That would all be forgotten if Jackson were to wear the star on his helmet.

However, the Cowboys don’t need Jackson in their locker room for the same reason Kelly is kicking him out of his. Kelly is trying to change the culture in Philadelphia much the same way Jason Garrett has been trying to alter the atmosphere at Valley Ranch.

Jackson, despite his undeniable value as a playmaker, is the constantly squeaky wheel. If he’s not complaining about his contract, he’s taunting other teams. And, if you believe the report in NJ.com, now he’s missing meetings and displaying a poor work ethic.

After all the work the Cowboys have done to get Dez Bryant on the right path, both on and off the field, the last thing you want is to inject a personality like Jackson’s into the locker room.

Yes, Jackson might make Bryant even more effective by stretching the field and drawing coverage. That role now falls to second-year receiver Terrance Williams, especially with the release of Miles Austin, as limited as he was.

Jackson is 27 and coming off a season where he caught 82 passes for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns. With production like that, teams are lining up to talk to Jackson. Fellow NFC East foe Washington is reportedly set to meet with him Monday.

While several pundits have thrown out the Cowboys as a good landing spot for Jackson, finances alone will probably keep them from entertaining the notion. The Cowboys have just $6.4 million left in cap money, according to overthecap.com.

That probably won’t be enough to sign Jackson and address the team’s other concerns. Although in the current market, Jackson will be lucky to match the $9 million a year he was making in Philadelphia.

Rather than signing a high-priced complementary receiver, the Cowboys’ biggest concern at the position is signing Bryant to a long-term deal at some point in the next year. Bryant is entering the final year of his contract.

While Bryant has made great strides to improve his game and stay out of the headlines off the field, he’s still a highly emotional player. It wouldn’t be a good idea to replace the leadership the Cowboys lost this offseason – DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher – with someone who has Jackson’s reputation.

There’s no question Jackson could help the Cowboys, especially the two games a year they play the Eagles. Jackson will no doubt want to torch his former team. It’s everything else that comes along with Jackson that makes the price too high.

Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire