Datone Jones opened 2017 with the Minnesota Vikings, but a shoulder injury led to a settlement on Sept. 8. He spent one week with the Detroit Lions in October before joining the San Francisco 49ers.
He played three games for San Francisco and made six tackles.
On Sunday, he joined the Dallas Cowboys, his fourth team in three months, with a two-year deal.
“I’ve been on multiple teams, bouncing around; it’s kind of hard finding a groove,” Jones said. “It’s kind of easy to get down and give up on yourself and start thinking about life after ball. For me, this opportunity has been a blessing for me and my family. All I can do is come in here and compete and challenge myself to be the best Datone Jones I can be and create a competitive environment inside the defensive line room.”
Jones was a first-round pick of the Green Bay Packers in 2013. He played in 59 games with seven starts and had nine sacks. The Cowboys liked Jones in prepping for the 2013 draft, although they did not have a first-round grade on him.
“Really just want to get him in the mix, want to get him out at practice and just see how he fits,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “We feel like he has some versatility in our evaluation of him when he came out of school. And so we’ll just see how he’ll practices and where he can fit in our defensive front.”
The Cowboys have 10 defensive linemen on the roster with the addition of Jones. They recently added Daniel Ross from the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad, but he has yet to be active for a game.
By signing Jones to a two-year deal, the Cowboys can almost get a free look at him in the final five weeks of this season and use the offseason program and training camp to get a longer assessment at him if they choose.
Jones is just hoping to fit in as quickly as possible.
“For me, I don’t want to do anything to shift those blocks, like Jenga, you know? I don’t want those blocks to fall,” Jones said. “I just want to keep helping this team build and bring my competitive environment into the defensive line room so they know I’m serious, I’m here to work and I’m ready to get out there.”