IRVING, Texas - While Monday's pre-draft press conference focused mainly on Thursday's NFL Draft and the Cowboys' No. 4 overall pick, team owner Jerry Jones did at least address a situation that popped up last week.
Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence is reportedly facing a four-game suspension from the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy. While the team has not announced the suspension and Lawrence is reportedly appealing it, Jones at least acknowledged it, giving the team two defensive ends now expecting to miss the first four games.
"The loss of Gregory and the loss of Lawrence is a setback and certainly that has put us on a horse so to speak to get in here and call on some guys to fill those voids," said Jones, who pointed out the draft strategy for defensive end hasn't changed. "How it would impact us in this draft? I really don't think it has. It was a setback."
The Cowboys opted not to re-sign free agent defensive ends Greg Hardy and Jeremy Mincey. Despite the possible suspensions to both ends, Jones said he wouldn't change his stance on either player.
"That was done by our decision. We thought if we made those decisions on Mincey and we made those decisions on Hardy that we could put a team on the field out there that we were happy with," Jones said. "You can't have it all. We are going to better on parts of this team than we are in others. The trick is to get the good parts to lift us the lesser parts."
Lawrence led the Cowboys in sacks last season with eight, including seven in the final eight games of the season.