Stephen Jones deflects Amari Cooper questions as Cowboys free agency nears

Executive Vice President of the Dallas Cowboys Stephen Jones (L) (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Executive Vice President of the Dallas Cowboys Stephen Jones (L) (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

The offseason is always full of swirling rumors and speculation for every team in the NFL. The Dallas Cowboys, as always, have plenty of buzz as well. One of the biggest rumors of the offseason has been that team stars Amari Cooper and DeMarcus Lawrence may end up as cap casualties. While it would be shocking to cut Cooper, the idea that he was on the chopping block wasn’t all that surprising due to previous comments from both Jerry and Stephen Jones about his disappointing performance in 2021.

Cooper made $20 million last year and had one of his worst years in the league. The Joneses often repeated that the players who get the most money will get the biggest microscope on them. That’s exactly what happened with Cooper. As we have discussed, the front office doesn’t have to cut Cooper in order to get back to even with cap space. There are other monetary maneuvers that can be made. But they certainly can do so to save extra capital.

Ahead of this weekend’s NFL Combine, Stephen Jones spoke to reporters about pressing issues facing the Cowboys. Jones commented on Mike McCarthy as head coach, hinted at not using the Rams philosophy, thought about the franchise tag, talked about the organization’s culture given the recent settlement news, and much more.

Unsurprisingly, reporters asked him about Cooper’s future with the team. Jones gave a predictable and unhelpful answer. The EVP said it’s too early to address it, which begs the question, when is the right time with free agency coming up in just a few weeks? Regardless, we already know the Joneses love to keep things a secret and leave fans hanging. It seems like we won’t know what’s happening with Cooper until it actually happens. Cooper himself has said he has no idea what is going to happen with Dallas.

Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones refuses to comment on Amari Cooper’s future and shuts down the idea of potentially becoming buyers in free agency

Every year, the Cowboys seem to rely heavily on the draft and hope that making smaller, external free agent signings will help the team in the short term. Many Cowboys fans hoped that the team would adopt a similar style to the Super Bowl-winning Los Angeles Rams and use free agency as a place to sign high-level talent. Unfortunately, two things won’t make that work.

The first is that the Cowboys are in the negative in terms of cap space right now, so spending money on a fancy free agent is unlikely to happen. The second thing is that Dallas has enough to worry about with 24 of its current players set to hit the free market. They will need to shell out large contracts if they want to keep guys like Michael Gallup, Randy Gregory, or Dalton Schultz.

Aside from that, the EVP’s comments from Indianapolis weren’t promising for outsourcing talent, either.

The EVP is making it sound like they plan to use any and all of their money on current players. This is unsurprising given it’s how the Cowboys typically do things. Jones, of course, also said he doesn’t “want to rule it out,” AKA he’s yet again not giving any actual information out.

This offseason for the Cowboys in particular is quite concerning. There is potential to lose several players from the current roster and the team doesn’t have the money to make key signings to fill positional needs. It will be very interesting to see what the roster looks like for the start of the 2022 season.

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