Cowboys’ Jerry Jones explains roster holes, cites Dak Prescott deal
FRISCO, Texas — On the one hand, Jerry Jones says his Dallas Cowboys “have more value on the field” than they have in recent years.
On the other, the owner/GM understands that his proven offensive talent rings a deficit.
“The more you pay the quarterback, the teams that pay the big buck on the quarterback, they have to sacrifice other spots,” Jones said Friday during an interview with Dallas radio station 105.3 The Fan. . “The facts are there is no free lunch. Every dollar you spend on a player is a dollar you can’t spend elsewhere.
The Cowboys have indeed extended Dak Prescott for four years and $160 million with $126 million in 2021. The team can no longer run Prescott’s $450,000 rookie contract, on which the fourth draft pick round led Dallas to a 13-3 record and NFC. regular season crown.
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And yet Prescott’s average annual salary is topped by Aaron Rodgers of the Packers, Russell Wilson of the Broncos, Kyler Murray of the Cardinals, Deshaun Watson of the Browns, Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs, Josh Allen of the Bills, Derek Carr of the Raiders and matches that from Matthew Stafford of Rams.
The Broncos signed freelance defensive end Randy Gregory anyway, when the Cowboys decided he was too expensive. The Browns still traded their fifth-round pick for wide receiver Amari Cooper and his contract, another Dallas loss in the offseason. The Bills signed veteran passer Von Miller, whom Dallas fans coveted. And last year, the Rams traded Miller and catcher Odell Beckham Jr. en route to a Super Bowl title.
Jones insisted he had proven his willingness to take risks.
“Nobody would deny that I’m a risk taker,” he said. “Nobody. I take risks and I do it every day of my life. And so, there is a good time to take risks. We took them and we will take them.
“Hopefully some of the risks that I’m taking in the future … will result in a change from where we were: and that’s not going to happen in the Super Bowl. But I do that every day of my life.
The Cowboys have the fourth most available cap space in the league, at $14.1 million, per overthecap.com (the Browns, Broncos and Raiders have more). They hope to eventually expand the talents of receiver CeeDee Lamb, cornerback Trevon Diggs and versatile linebacker Micah Parsons.
Still, they haven’t made a splash in free agency this offseason or traded for anyone after starters receiver James Washington (broken foot) and eight-time Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith (broken knee, torn hamstrings) have sustained injuries that will sideline them for Extended Periods. Smith is not expected to be back until at least December.
Instead, first-round rookie left tackle Tyler Smith will protect Prescott’s blindside.
“He’s got everything we hoped for and more when we drafted him,” Jones said of the rookie. “That’s exactly what we drafted him for, to come in and be the left tackle. And, so, he’s had a really exceptional side. All the things are there. Do I wish we had Tyron (Smith) Yes Will we get Tyron back?
“But in the meantime, (Tyler Smith) is going to come in and he’s going to get a doctorate from Harvard playing left tackle by then. Are we going to pay the price? Yes. Can we win with him paying the price? I think so.
Prescott expressed similar optimism Thursday when asked about the opportunity that awaits him with fewer experienced weapons and more questionable protection.
“When you have a guy like CeeDee Lamb, (Michael Gallup), guys who have a certain culture, a certain behavior and a certain approach to themselves, the way they attack every day, it’s easy for these young people to follow through and do the same things and that these guys got reps,” Prescott said. “That chemistry, among our guys, between them honestly, among this group alone, is as good as it gets. has ever been.”
Walking off with a few reporters after his on-camera interview, Prescott conceded that “(expletive), yeah, 100%” the questions made sense. But also: remember what he did as a fourth-round rookie pushed into action in Week 1 due to injuries?
“You didn’t see me as a rookie either,” Prescott said. “The same little fog or whatever that was when I was a rookie and I know what I did and what I did. That’s why I’m saying no, I love it. Keep it up write, keep talking.
“We are for it but we know what we have, we know who we are and what we are going to do.”
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Jori Epstein on Twitter @JoriEpstein