INDIANAPOLIS – Yes, there were some hot topics coming from Stephen Jones this week that didn't involve contracts.
That doesn't exactly seem plausible, considering the high importance being placed on the likes of Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper, and even Byron Jones, who might be on the outside looking in when it comes to getting a new deal – at least with the Cowboys.
But Stephen Jones met with reporters earlier this week and discussed a variety of topics, many of which weren't related to contract talks.
Here are some of the highlights:
- Witten & Lee: Two established veterans who are in the waiting game right now are Sean Lee and Jason Witten. Both are unrestricted free agents and both have said they want to play in 2020. However, the Cowboys don't seem to be in a big hurry to make a decision regarding their futures. "Sean and Jason, obviously, they're special guys to this organization. What they've accomplished as men, as people, as leaders, they're special," Jones said. "As I've said, our goal is to sign as many of our guys as we can sign, but I'm not going to get into commenting, going down each player. I commented on Dak and Amari, and that's really it."
- XFL Kickoff: The NFL is always looking to adapt, regardless of where the idea comes from. That being said, Jones admitted the NFL Competition Committee discussed some of the different rules the XFL is using. "We actually looked at one (Monday). We looked at the kickoff," he said. "But it was just to put it in front of us so we could be thinking about it. Certainly, your eyes are always open to what anybody is doing when it comes to the game of football. I'm not ready to have thoughts yet (on the XFL kickoff rule). I mean, I've got thoughts, but I'm not ready to verbalize them yet."
- BPA: You've heard it before. You'll hear it a lot this year as well. "Best Player Available." That was Jones' answer when asked about the draft priorities, especially with the No. 17 pick. He admitted that defense will be a high priority throughout the draft, but said a lot of it will depend on what happens in March. "Certainly, we have some priorities we think we can get done past Dak and Amari. We think there're some things we can get done before free agency starts. But if they don't, we'll certainly have our priorities there. And if we feel like it's not working out, we'll certainly look elsewhere."
- Dez Return? It's been discussed over and over here recently as Dez Bryant has made it clear he would like to return to football, particularly with the Cowboys. Jones said earlier this month that Bryant has approached him on the topic. On Monday, his stance hadn't changed much. "We'll go over that as a staff as we move forward. Obviously, our focus has been our own guys in terms of guys we had here last year. As we start to expand the web, we'll look at things like that."
- Needing a Tackle? The Cowboys have two of the best offensive tackles in football in both Tyron Smith and La'el Collins. However, despite another Pro Bowl year, injuries continue to mount up for Smith. When asked if drafting a tackle is a big need, Jones said it's a possibility, but more from a backup standpoint and future starter. "I think you always need a swing tackle. That's just important. You've got to have a top swing tackle. We've been fortunate with Cam (Fleming) to have one. He's done a nice job for us when that happens. But it's not because of Tyron's health. We feel good about his health. We feel good that he'll be ready to roll again and have a great year again."