Jerry Jones On Dez Bryant's Status, Dak's Future, Eagles Raising The Bar, More

INDIANAPOLIS – As the Cowboys continue their pre-draft evaluations here at the NFL Scouting Combine, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones met with the media for nearly an hour about a number of team-related topics.

Some highlights:

  • Asked about Dez Bryant's much-speculated status and future with the Cowboys, Jones reiterated that Bryant is under contract and he wants Bryant on the team next year, but declined to address details of his contract. Jones reiterates he has a great relationship with Bryant and they're able to have very comfortable dialogue.
  • Asked if watching the Eagles win the Super Bowl increases his sense of urgency, Jones said, "It raised the bar. It puts pressure on the Cowboys." He also pointed out that the Eagles' success despite injuries eliminates a big excuse.
  • Asked if he thinks about what the future holds for quarterback Dak Prescott in the wake of Jimmy Garoppolo's record-breaking contract with the 49ers, Jones said: "I'm not going to get into that, but we need to take advantage of structuring and putting this team together at the contract level that we've got right here. He's going to get his extraordinary contract. But while we can put the team together and take advantage when he is on this contract right now, we've got to be real astute to maximize that advantage. We're a team that has a high priced offensive line, and it gets a break with Dak right now. It gives us a chance to do some things on defense. This basic dynamic of salary structure won't be with us but for a year or two. So I guess what I'm trying to say is we need to take advantage of where are contracts are."
  • Asked about the Cowboys' quarterback depth behind Prescott, Jones said the team is happy with backup Cooper Rush's development, and adding a third quarterback to develop this year would be Jones' preference over a veteran.
  • Jones called the team's four compensatory picks a "godsend" that will allow them flexibility to upgrade the roster and draft the best players available. The Cowboys now have 10 total picks in the 2018 draft.
  • Coming off Jaylon Smith's first year back from a career-threatening knee injury, Jones believes Smith can evolve into a three-down linebacker in the NFL. The Cowboys have expressed confidence that Smith will continue to improve physically. Jones was very impressed with the way Smith approached his injury rehab, comparing it to Michael Irvin's rehab from a serious knee injury early in his career.

Jones on reports that he'll appear at Monday's hearing with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell as the NFL seeks reimbursement for the legal costs on the Ezekiel Elliott appeal and comments on Goodell's contract extension: "You get right to completely address the facts, and I know he wants to know that and I want him to know what the facts are. … You just get right to exactly what happened in both instances, and we'll both be better for it."

  • Jerry Jones on the prospect of moving safety Byron Jones back to cornerback: "We do know how to evaluate him. And with the makeup of where we are, we'll get more of what he does the best at corner than we will back at safety. ... I'm just glad that we've got that kind of solution. He has those kind of skills, and we saw it at training camp. As far as I was concerned, he had the best training camp of anybody we had. And we saw him play center field. So it's a little surprising that we're going to go into this training camp with him over at corner. But that also speaks highly of what else we've got back there at safety, too. So that's the way I look at it."[embeddedad0]
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