INDIANAPOLIS – Lots of crowds here in Indianapolis for the NFL Combine. Airports and hotels are packed, and streets are filled players chasing their dream. But it doesn't stop there – it's a crowded conversation when it comes to contract talks with the Cowboys.
Dak Prescott's contract discussions obviously garner the most attention, and Stephen Jones noted today in between Combine meetings that he wishes the deal would've been done before the 2019 season. He even noted that he and Jerry Jones both thought it would get done.
But here they sit, now, with more talented players than they probably can handle when it comes to the salary cap.
Next up in the priority of conversation behind Prescott is receiver Amari Cooper. But in that same caliber of talent, often kept quiet – just as his own personality and demeanor; cornerback Byron Jones. And while going down the list of names on this roster, Stephen Jones admitted he knows they're going to have a hard time with the salary cap moving into the 2020 season.
"Byron's a guy we think a lot of," Jones said. "He's had a great run at corner, he's played really well, played at a high level. That's the hard thing when you have quite a few good players on your football team, is you get challenges."
Reading between the lines here raises the question if Byron Jones has a future in Dallas.
"I know Byron understands that, but at the same time he's worried about Byron, as he should be," Jones said.
As far as conversations go, the front office plans to have plenty of run-ins with agents while in Indianapolis for the week and anticipates discussions about Byron popping up in the future.
"Certainly we'll continue, we'll visit with his guys while we're here – kind of see their direction and what they're thinking and we'll have to keep moving," Jones said.
Ultimately, the Combine brings hundreds of scouts and coaches to Indianapolis for a week to focus on the future of their individual organizations. And Stephen Jones didn't hold back when asked about the focus of the Cowboys and their future this offseason.
"In general, defense is the priority for this offseason," Jones said. "Whether it's getting some of our own guys back, or whether it's free agency, or whether it's the draft, if you look at our roster obviously most of our offensive roster are either under contract or are going to have restrictions to where we're going to have a great opportunity to keep them."
It seems like a big ask for them to keep Byron Jones on the roster, given on their position on other important contracts.