Do the Dallas Cowboys have a definitive plan to get better?
By Tyrone Starr
With many opportunities to provide insight into the Dallas Cowboys future, Stephen Jones has not been shy to give his takes on specific player decisions.
With the NFL world focusing squarely upon the NFL Combine, it’s not surprising that microphones keep ending up in the face of Dallas Cowboys‘ Stephen Jones.
The man with so many titles (COO/Executive Vice President/Director of Player Personnel) has had a lot to say this past week. What he’s not saying may speak louder than anything, however.
Whether it’s his non-committal feelings towards star receiver Dez Bryant, his very clear affinity for guard Zack Martin or other topics, Jones has a lot of words coming from his mouth that aren’t saying a whole lot.
Cowboys fans are feeling a little uneasy these days, mostly due to a lack of direction coming from the top. Now, clearly, you don’t want Jones spilling all the beans so soon before free agency starts. There is nothing wrong with playing things close to the vest.
It’s just that if you’re going to play like that, it would make more sense to be consistent with the style. For example, here’s what Jones told the Star-Telegram about Martin.
"“Certainly he’s a great player, he’s a guy we want to have a Cowboy uniform on for the rest of his career if we can do that. We’ve got some work to do.”"
But, when questions about Dez came up, Jones had this to say:
"“Well, it’s difficult,” Jones continued. “That’s the hard part about our business. That’s the way Jerry is. The way I am. You do get attached to these men … When these times come, whether it’s Troy, whether it’s Emmitt, whether it’s Michael, when that time finally gets there it’s a difficult decision.”"
Jones went as far as to clearly say he has a meeting with Martin’s representation, but not Bryant’s.
It’s not just these polar opposite ways of dealing with personnel decisions that leave fans scratching their heads. Two very esteemed Cowboys’ insiders had two very different answers from Jones regarding trades.
According to Clarence Hill, Jr. of the Fort Worth Star Telegram, long time cornerback Orlando Scandrick will either be cut or traded.
But, as DallasCowboys.com writer David Helman reports, Jones apparently does not focus too much on offseason trades …
Obviously, retaining the services of Martin is a must for this franchise to move in the right direction. In most everyone’s opinion, so too is having Bryant on this team in 2018. While Scandrick may be more expendable due to youth at his position, his competitive fire is a desirable trait.
It would be nice if Jones gave the response on every player. There is no reason to publicly put your business on the street. If you must say something, take a queue from Jason Garrett. Indicate that you like the player and hope for a strong year from him next season.
The very public, equally odd negotiating tactic with Bryant has the opportunity to go south quickly. It would be wise to evaluate all of the reasons Bryant is not producing as you might hope. Receivers with his talent, passion and desire to be great do not grow on trees.
Next: Cowboys 2018 NFL Draft - 7 round mock 1.0
Cutting Dez Bryant does not make this team better in 2018. Openly indicating that you’ll cut a player if you can’t trade him immediately lessens his tradeable value. This seems quite obvious. It certainly does not make anyone believe there is a plan in place to get better.
Hopefully, Stephen Jones is playing his hand the right way. If not, all of us with investment in this team stand to lose yet again.