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Stephen Jones On Why Cowboys Passed on Trades


ARLINGTON, Texas – The trade deadline has come and gone. Despite fielding a few calls from other teams, no move was made this week, showing the Cowboys seem rather confident about the roster in the second half of the season.

Executive VP and chief operating officer Stephen Jones spoke about the Cowboys' trade deadline activities on Wednesday at AT&T Stadium following his press conference to announce a live music event of Billy Joel and Stevie Nicks next April.

Though the Cowboys did not execute a trade before the deadline on Tuesday after acquiring defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins from the Raiders in October, Jones said there were a handful of deals that the team felt like they nearly made.

"There were some situations where we thought it could help our team and be good for us," Jones said. "It felt like maybe things were coming our way, but we're very pleased with our team."

Jones hinted that the Cowboys were looking at potential upgrades at the receiver spot with other teams, but also reiterated his confidence in the team's current receiving corps with the likes of CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup and others.

And despite not being able to swing a deal, Jones stressed he feels good about where the team is and pointed to potential in-house additions like wide receiver James Washington, who Jones said is close as they continue to monitor his progress back from injury.

"We can continue to look for ways to make our team better and we will," he said. "But at the same time, we have some guys at certain positions that are going to be available to come off the IR designated to return list that can help us.

We have guys that are on the IR that can come off that as well and in particular James Washington, who's a veteran in this league… And then you never know what other opportunities might arise out there."

Aside from the trade deadline talk, Jones hit on a number of other topics as well ranging from the progress of Ezekiel Elliott and his knee injury and other injury updates to this year's rookie class and the team's chances in a wide-open NFC.

  • Jones said that he thinks that Elliott will have a "great opportunity" to play against the Packers in Week 10 after missing the game against the Bears with his knee injury and is also looking forward to getting safety Malik Hooker and guard Connor McGovern back. Jones also said he anticipates another three to four weeks before tackle Tyron Smith begins to potentially practice as he comes off his own knee injury he sustained during training camp.
  • When asked about the comparison between the 2021 draft class that included Micah Parsons' and this year's class that features tackle Tyler Smith and Sam Williams, Jones pointed to the Cowboys' ability to successfully draft and develop. "I hate to compare those things," Jones said. "The good news with both classes is that we continue with [to] draft well. That's a big key in my mind. Being consistent year in and year out is drafting well and drafting players that get on the field and that help you win football games."
  • With the Cowboys holding a 6-2 record during their bye week and holding one of the best records in the NFC, Jones acknowledged that the team is in a good spot with most of the conference struggling. "In the NFL it's close…" he said. "All it takes is a team to get hot and it may be a team that people aren't necessarily giving a lot of credit to right now that could jump up. Our job is not to worry about what others are doing. Just keep our eye on our ball and keep our eye on making our team better."
  • Finally, before the Cowboys waived defensive tackle Trysten Hill on Tuesday, Jones suggested there were attempts to find a potential deal for him, but nothing came to fruition. With the addition of Hankins and others slated to return from injury, Jones said they had to "make a tough decision from a numbers standpoint." Hill was claimed by the Cardinals on Wednesday.

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