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Stephen Addresses Tag Options & Dak Extension


Stephen Jones always mentions the phrase "talent acquisition is 365 days a year." That being said, working the salary cap and managing the dollars and cents is also a year-round chore.

But for some reason, the week of the combine is the time when things really start heating up with the decision-makers such as Jones, who met with reporters for a while Tuesday in Indianapolis.

Jones said is well aware the team has over 20 free agents – mostly unrestricted that have expiring contracts on March 15.

Those names include Tony Pollard, Dalton Schultz, Donovan Wilson and Leighton Vander Esch.

Jones said he expects to have meetings with the agents and representatives for most of the free agents this week in Indy, including Pollard.

There has been plenty of speculation regarding Pollard getting the franchise tag of $10.1 million, but Jones didn't commit the Cowboys to doing that, although he does intend to place the tag on one of the players within the next week or so.

"It's not out of the question, but we haven't determined whether we'll do that or not," Jones said of tagging Pollard. "More than likely we'll use our tag. Not necessarily on Tony, but we'll use our tag."

The Cowboys used the franchise tag on Schultz last year, but tagging him again would jump the price up north of $13 million for one season.

Jones cleared up any issues about Pollard's injury situation, which included a broken tibia and high-ankle sprain that needed surgery. Jones said Pollard is making "great" progress and doesn't see that becoming a factor in contract talks.

The Cowboys could always avoid the tag and get a deal done with Pollard, but then there's also the dilemma with Ezekiel Elliott and his contract.

"We're not sure what that (running backs) room is going to look like next year," Jones said.

As for the quarterback, he knows the main piece of that room will be Dak Prescott again. Now, how much he counts towards the cap is another story.

One way to lower his projected $49.1 million cap charge is to give him an extension. When asked about that, Jones was rather vague, but hinted that a deal could get done without a lot of fanfare.

He did say there has not been any discussions with Dak's agent about an extension.

"No we haven't. I don't know. I bet there's not going to be a lot said about it," Jones said of those negotiations. "We'll wake up one day and it'll be done. We've got a plan. Doesn't always help you to divulge your plan."

But don't expect the Cowboys to put that on the backburner. With Dak eating up a huge chunk of the salary cap, they must figure out their plans there before coming up with a free-agent strategy.

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