Between Stephen Jones on Monday and Jerry Jones yesterday, we're starting to get details of what might take place at Valley Ranch over the next few weeks, and for the 2013 season.
The Cowboys needs some cash to play in the leftover free-agent market, and to sign their draft picks. The two sources of that cash are, and have been for weeks, an extension for Tony Romo and a long-term deal for Anthony Spencer. Apparently, one is about to happen, and the other is just getting started.
We've been waiting for the reworked Romo contract to come to fruition; Jerry Jones sounds like it is in the bag.
"Probably what concerns them about a timetable is the fact that they don't know that it won't be weeks out," Jones said of Cowboys fans being nervous of Romo deal getting done. "They don't know that. I have a better feel for it than that."
"We are involved in negotiations. It's just not the thing to do for him or me to say we ought to have something done by midnight or tomorrow unless it’s that imminent. You can’t get that answered because you don't have it all ready to sign. But I'm not concerned that we are looking at a drawn out thing here. I'm not concerned that is going to in any way hamper any decision we want to make personnel wise over the next few weeks."
Well, Jerry has never been a beacon of clarity, but if you read through what he said, it sounds like almost everything is in place, and the deal will be done very soon so they can free up some cash. It wouldn't be surprising for this to be announced by the end of the week. The key sentence is: "I'm not concerned that is going to in any way hamper any decision we want to make personnel wise over the next few weeks."
Once that's done, it's on to Anthony Spencer and a long-term deal. QBs take precedence over defensive ends according to Stephen Jones.
"Quarterbacks usually take precedent," Jones said. "Not like I don’t like Spencer, but quarterbacks usually come first and foremost. That's it. They take up a significant part of your cap. It obviously dictates a lot for us this year when we're all said and done."
So while they work on Romo, what's the status of Spencer?
While extension talks are ongoing with Romo, they haven’t yet commenced with Spencer. Jones said he hasn’t received any substantial offers for Spencer yet, and he foresees Spencer wearing a Cowboys uniform this season.
"At the end of the day, we plan on Anthony being here," Jones said. "Now anybody at anytime, there has always been a philosophy if the right deal is there that makes us a better team, then you’ve got to take a look at it."
The Cowboys are hoping they can get a better deal with Spencer than they anticipated before free agency started. The market for defensive ends has been down, Cliff Avril only got two years and $15 million. Cowboys management sees that as setting the market. But Spencer's agent probably believes if that's the kind of money the Cowboys offer, then he's just better off keeping the franchise tag money and waiting for next year. So I'm not sure how much it's going to help in this situation.