Cowboys’ Stephen Jones Talks Free Agency

Cowboys fans entered the 2019 offseason hoping to bring in a difference maker like Earl Thomas in free agency. Those hopes didn’t come to fruition, as the team has opted to bring in smaller deals, including George Iloka, rather than splurging for a big splash. 

The team’s COO and executive vice president Stephen Jones went in-depth on the team’s mindset this offseason in an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. Jones addressed why the team is rarely active in free agency and gave insight on the team’s thought process for re-signing big names both this year and in the upcoming offseasons.

“The biggest thing is just that free agency, I just don’t think you can make a living there,” Jones said. “That’s what we’ve always said. I think you’re overpaying in free agency most of the time. [Free agents] are overvalued, because you’re competing in a market where you’ve got teams that don’t have as many players they have to spend on, have to use cap space on.”

It’s no secret that the Cowboys are prioritizing re-signing Dak Prescott, along with inking long-term deals with Demarcus Lawrence, Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper. Jones, however, mentioned laying low this offseason could help them down the road re-sign the likes of Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch, two players the team views as rare talents.

“That’s when you start to have to get super creative. And if you go out and do a deal right now that’s not efficient, you’re starting to take some creative money away that hopefully is going to help you keep Jaylon, hopefully help you keep both corners. We’ll just have to see.”

Though Dallas didn’t bring in Thomas, the team inked Randall Cobb to a one-year deal to replace the departed Cole Beasley in the slot, to go along with a few other under-the-radar additions.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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27 comments on “Cowboys’ Stephen Jones Talks Free Agency

  1. jonnyzuck

    I’m curious to see how much zeke, dak, and Cooper get if they sign extensions

    • earmbrister

      If they are reasonable in their asks, they might be able to keep the team together, ala Tom Brady. Take a bit less, win a Super Bowl, and then make even more moolah.

      • Jimmy Johnson’s Ghost

        Tom Brady? Are you comparing Dallas to NE? Dak Prescott to Tom Brady? Maybe you should wait until this team actually wins 2 consecutive playoff games to start thinking SB.

        • earmbrister

          Nope, but I can spell it out for you. Brady doesn’t get paid top $, which allows NE to spend $ at other positions. If a couple of their FAs take slightly less, then the team can keep most of them and advance in the playoffs. IF they win a SB, their players will cash in even more than now, with off the field earnings.

  2. jorge78

    Hopefully, Stephen is smarter than his daddy. I know the bar is set kind of low…..

    • ncbrave

      Ok so correct me if I’m wrong, but you are talking about Jerry the man who is a self made Billionaire worth over 7 billion dollars? Bought a Cowboys team that was terribly in debt turned them into the most valuable sports franchise in the USA? The man that helped make the NFL a mainstream brand? Also a member of the NFL hall of fame.? Yeah he’s real dumb. I wish I was as dumb as him also.

      • kenleyfornia2

        Exactly and its not even like he is bad at being the GM too. You would think Dallas is a 4-12 team every year with the way he is talked about. People really think being too attached to a coach is what defines a billionaire lol.

        • GeauxRangers

          He’s bad at being a GM of a team that has a salary cap. Will McClay is the real GM of this team now and since he got here their drafts have been pretty great. Jerry is one of the best owners ever though no doubt.

  3. benster04

    cowboy fans relax…we get all fired up when jerry & company do nothing in the 1st week of FA, then complain we didnt sign the superstars in week 2. does any understand that these signings, covington,kerry, cobb and ikoba gave us quality players at bottom salary cap implications? if we kept beasley and signed thomas we would have nothing for next years big 5, zek, dak, coop, smith, tank! we signed FA guys for cheap mostly on 1 yr deals to give us the flexibility to still do more and yet potect our future while allowing us to pick the best players available in the draft. dont forget we still may up with quinn from miami by next week for a 4th or 5th to compliment tank!

  4. RockHard

    Save all the cap so we can keep the current team together.. yea that’s going to work out great… all these back ups we keep signing don’t move the needle one bit and this team isn’t talented enough to win it all without more playmakers.. keep this crew together and only add thru the draft and late first round picks is a recipe for meh..

    • As an Eagles fan, your team is not “meh”. If Dak settles down and continues to mesh with Cooper and does well with Cobb, your team is much more than “meh”. Even if you were just “meh”, Eagles and Cowboys are the only two teams competing in the division. Either you are overly skeptical of your team or you think they are good but when they sink you can say “yeah, I knew they weren’t good”. Cowboys get ten wins easily this year.

      • JJB0811

        As a Skins fan, I’d take the ‘Boys roster over mine. Same for the Eagles. Both teams are well built for both this season & the next few.

        So many fans think its SB or bust. Heck, I settle for a few playoff games rather than being hovering around or below .500 darn near every year.

        • GeauxRangers

          No crap the Skins are a horribly run franchise and their roster is a dumpster fire

        • Jimmy Johnson’s Ghost

          10 wins isn’t good enough in your eyes or mine, however I think 10 wins is now considered a great season at the Ranch. How else can you explain retaining a coach who avg. 8-9 wins a season for almost 10 years now?

          • earmbrister

            Answer: The Cowboys roster was crap 10 years ago. IF you’re a Cowboys fan, you would know this.

  5. Wellthisshouldbeinteresting

    I think the players they have signed are all a few ticks better than what is (or was) there to begin with. They didn’t handcuff themselves to awful contracts, and that’s pretty key seeing as how they need to sign a few home growns.

  6. Yep it is

    Daddy I want a team and have the ability to pick my nose on LIVE TV. I am so smart I haven’t won anything in 21 years but hey they are Cowboys fans and will continue to choke down whatever I say.

  7. fungie22

    Glad they didn’t overpay for Earl Thomas! Is Dak worth it? It’s a make or break for that guy this year.

  8. troll_smasher

    The Cowboys have FOUR playoff wins since 96. 4 playoff wins in 22yrs…. Let that sink in.

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