INDIANAPOLIS – From the scouting combine in Indy, Cowboys VP Stephen Jones talked about a variety of Cowboys news, including the contract status of Dez Bryant.
Here are some of the quick highlights:
- The Cowboys are expected to meet with the agents of both DeMarcus Lawrence and Zack Martin this week. Martin is set to play under the fifth-year option this season and Lawrence will be an unrestricted free agent unless the Cowboys put the franchise tag on him. Jones has said the Cowboys will either get a new deal done or place the tag on him before the March 6 deadline.
- Jones said there is no meeting scheduled with Dez Bryant or his agent at this time. However, Jones said that conversation should happen in the near future. Bryant told 105.3 The Fan last Friday that he wants to remain a Cowboy and he's motivated to improve his on-field rapport with quarterback Dak Prescott. Jones has said the Cowboys must "determine what is in the best interest of our business" with regard to Bryant, who has a $16.5 million salary cap figure in 2018. "No one respects Dez more than I do," Jones said Tuesday. "He loves this team. He loves the Cowboys. He loves to play the game. He is very passionate about it. So I totally respect and appreciate where he's coming from there. We've just got to continue to work on our end and see where we're going to end up on it."
- Regarding the draft, Jones said it would be unlikely to draft a one-technique defensive tackle in the first round. He would need to at least have some three-technique traits to justify a first-round pick.
- There was no official comment from Stephen Jones regarding the recent news report the NFL is seeking reimbursement from Jerry Jones for the legal costs on the Ezekiel Elliott appeal and comments on the Roger Goodell extension.
- Expect defensive lineman David Irving to get a restricted free agent tender. Jones said it's unclear if they will give him a first-round or second-round tender.
- Jones didn't rule out spending a first-round pick on an offensive lineman, as the team has in recent years, if the team feels there's a great prospect available.
- Jones said the Competition Committee aim to clarify the much-discussed catch rule made infamous by Dez Bryant's no-catch in the 2014-15 divisional-round loss to the Packers. "I do think we'll make some improvements that I think our fans and in general people will appreciate when we're all said and done."
- Jones said the possibility of moving Byron Jones from safety to cornerback is a "work in progress." The team hasn't made a decision there or whether to pick up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract, Stephen Jones said. The Cowboys recently hired a new defensive backs coach, Kris Richard.
- Asked about Orlando Scandrick's future, Jones said the team hasn't made a decision to part ways with the veteran cornerback. Scandrick is under contract through 2019, but in December he sounded unsure about whether he'll be back as the Cowboys underwent a youth movement in the secondary late in the season.
Jones was asked about the status of suspended defensive end Randy Gregory, who has not been with the team since the end of the 2016 season. "Obviously he's suspended and we're not able to have contact with him, so that's difficult," Jones said. "At the same time, we obviously invested in Randy (2015 second-round pick) and wish and hope for nothing but the best for Randy. He's on a journey and I know he's trying to get his off-the-field situations worked out and he's obviously got a lot of skill as a football player. But first and foremost he has to get himself personally and his physical well-being off the field in a good place."