Jones On ‘Active’ Contract Talks, Draft, More

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FRISCO, Texas – With draft season in full swing, Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones covered a variety of topics Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan. Some highlights:

  • Jones said the team is having “pretty active discussions” with quarterback Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper on possible new contracts but emphasized that extension talks with other players could pick up, too. In other words, there’s not necessarily a set order here. The team has had early discussions with the agents for running back Ezekiel Elliott and cornerback Byron Jones and views both players as long-term cornerstones, too.
  • Last year’s trade for Cooper was a resounding success, but Jones said it’s unlikely the Cowboys would again part with a first-round pick in an effort to jump up the board. “I don’t think so. It took an act of Congress to give up a first-round pick,” Jones said. “We know how valuable those are. … I don’t see us making that a habit of us putting first-round picks into play.”
  • Jones said the organization is still setting its draft board and hopes to have it finalized by the beginning of next week.
  • Is backup running back a potential draft target? Jones acknowledged the team is evaluating its current depth behind NFL rushing champ Ezekiel Elliott. “I just think anytime you look at your situation and you see how much we rely on Zeke in terms of the number of touches that he gets, game in and game out, and what that would do to your team if you didn’t have Zeke, I think we look back on last year and wonder if we were hanging out more than we should have in the past with Zeke,” Jones said. “Certainly that’s a position that we’ll continue to look at as we move forward here.”
  • Jones “would never rule out” more additional moves in free agency this offseason. “We’ll continue to evaluate,” he said. “Depending on how the draft goes, sometimes you feel like there may still be a little need for something that we want to shore up and the right guy happens to be out there at the right price.”
  • Two 2018 draft picks, guard Connor Williams and defensive end Dorance Armstrong, have a chance to make a “big jump” this year, Jones said. Williams has added weight and strength this offseason and Armstrong showed flashes as a disruptive pass rusher last year.

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