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Balance sheet: is Zach Allen an upgrade over Dre’Mont Jones?

The Broncos saved some money by not tagging or resigning Jones, but how does the player they got compare to the player they lost?

New England Patriots v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

All indications are that Dre’Mont Jones will sign with the Seattle Seahawks for 3 years and $51.5MM, with $23.5MM in year one and $35MM over the next years. I don’t know how much is guaranteed. So that works out to 17.2MM per year if he earns the full value of the contract.

To replace him the Denver Broncos signed former Arizona Cardinal DE, Zach Allen. Allen will get a three-year $45.8MM dollar deal. That’s $15.3MM per with only $32.5MM guaranteed. That’s a fairly team-friendly deal.

Allen is 25. Jones is 26. So they are of comparable age, but are they comparable players? They are also comparable in size (both listed as 6’3” and 281) and draft position (both were 3rd round picks).

Run Stopping

According to NFL NextGen Stats, Zach Allen was one of the best run stopping defensive linemen in the league in 2022.

The rest of this data is going to be from

Allen has played 745 snaps against the run and has 28 TFL in his career. Jones has 691 and 37. So that would tell me that Jones is more effective at generating negative plays in the run game. FWIW, Allen has a slightly lower average tackle depth during his career at 1.8 vs Jones’ 2.1. Lower is better in ADoT.

Allen has 1167 career defensive snaps and 131 tackles (65 solo). Jones has 1361 snaps and 132 tackles (69 solo). Allen has a slight edge here except that he has missed 9 tackles on fewer snaps while Jones has only missed eight.

So you might give Jones a slight edge against the run, but I’d call it a push. Both players benefitted from player with elite (albeit aged) future Hall of Fame defenders. Jones had Von Miller and Allen had JJ Watt (and Chandler Jones who might make the hall some day).

Pass Rushing

Allen has 11.5 career sacks on 1135 pas rush snaps. Jones has 22.0 on 1354. While this looks like a clear “win” for Jones, sacks are overrated. Pressures are where the focus should be.

Allen has a career pressure rate of 6.7. Jones’ career pressure rate is 7.9. So Jones has been a little better at generating pressure as an IDL player. Jones has 107 pressures in his career. Allen has 76. Allen’s best season he got pressure on 8.1% of his pass rush snaps (2022). Jones best season (2021) he got pressure on 9.2%. Both guys are good, but not great at pressure from an IDL (hand-in-the-dirt) DL player.

Trey Hendrickson is comparable in size to both Allen and Jones. He led all larger DL guys in pressure rate last season with a pressure rate of 18.9%. Among truly massive DL guys, 342 lb Dexter Lawrence of the Giants had the best value last season at 14.7%.

Back to the comparison of Allen and Jones. If we focus on 2022, Both Allen and Jones got at least one pressure in every game they played last season. Neither was not “shut out” at all.

Jones was held to one pressure twice last season (in back-to-back games vs LVR and CAR) and Allen was held to one pressure in the Cardinals loss to SEA and their loss to NE. Allen’s season high in pressures was 5 against the LAC and Jones’ was 7, also against LAC. The Charger OL was one of the worst in the league in 2022.


In my opinion, the Broncos got a comparable player for much less than it would have cost to tag Jones which would have cost either 19 or 23 million depending on whether he was classified as a DE or a DT.

Both guys are capable of dominating a game and while neither does it very often, Jones has done it twice as often as Allen. Allen has two games where I would say he dominated the game (2021 win over 49ers and 2022 loss to the Eagles). Those are Allen’s only two career games with multiple TFL (2 in both games). He also had a sack in each game

Jones, you could argue, has four games where he dominated.

  • 2021 win over the Lions (2 sacks, 3 TFL)
  • 2022 win over the Jaguars (1 sack, 3 TFL)
  • 2019 win over the Lions (2.5 sacks, 2 TFL)
  • 2022 loss to the Jets (2 sacks, 2 TFL)


Who would you rather have?

This poll is closed

  • 54%
    Zach Allen
    (1948 votes)
  • 45%
    Dre’Mont Jones
    (1657 votes)
3605 votes total Vote Now