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Key Roster Decisions Loom For Jones, Cowboys


FRISCO, Texas – From a personnel standpoint, the Cowboys' offseason might be the most intriguing in several years.

Coming off a divisional-round playoff appearance, and with only one position player under contract (linebacker Sean Lee) over age 30, the roster on paper looks poised for long-term success.

"This is a very talented group, and I think we can get better. I do," Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones told 105.3 The Fan. "I think we're in a position to get better with our talent. We may lose some players that our fans may have a concern about, but in general we can upgrade from players getting better."

Indeed, decisions loom for the front office on two fronts: upcoming free agents this year, and key players under contract who are eligible for extensions.

While the offseason is barely underway, it's never too early to look ahead. Jerry Jones said the Cowboys could lose some key players this offseason, but is confident the 2019 Cowboys will be a "talented group."

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Every NFL team typically turns over roughly one-third of their roster every year. That's just the nature of business in the salary cap era.

Jones didn't speculate on the status of upcoming free agents, but several regular contributors have expiring deals, including wide receivers Cole Beasley and Tavon Austin, tight end Geoff Swaim and linebacker Damien Wilson.

The biggest name in the group is Pro Bowl pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence, who played on the franchise tag in 2018.

Then there's the next wave.

Quarterback Dak Prescott is signed through 2019 but eligible for a new deal. So is Pro Bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott. Jones was asked about both during his Monday radio segment and he stated the obvious: The Cowboys want Elliott for foreseeable future and Prescott "in the short term and long term."

Two more cornerstone players, Pro Bowl cornerback Byron Jones and wide receiver Amari Cooper, also have one more year left on their deals.

All seem to figure into the Cowboys' long-term plans. The timing, and how it'll all work under the cap, hasn't been determined yet.

"The bottom line is, there's a whole bunch of stuff that you want," Jones said with a laugh. "Now the question is, do you have the resources or do you have the means or do you have a plan to get there?"

The Cowboys will certainly work on a plan in the coming months.