The negotiations with DeMarcus Lawrence are slow going.
The Cowboys have come up on their offer to Lawrence but not enough to his liking, and the two sides remain far apart in negotiations.
Still, Jones said Lawrence postponing surgery and possibly not showing up is nothing new for him.
“They’re all points to consider and they cause you to give and take,” Jones said. “Again, those are considerations. It’s a misnomer to call them concerns. It’s a misnomer to sound frivolous or trivial about it. Every point has to ultimately be agreed to before you can agree to go forward for several years for the kinds of dollars we’re talking about right there. This is just not anything I haven’t been involved in hundreds of times.”
But Jones acknowledged that because of the type of contract that Lawrence is likely going to get — between $20.5 million-$23.5 million annually with upwards of $50 million guaranteed — the first year is the most important year. That is when he will get the bulk of the money.
So getting Lawrence signed in time to have shoulder surgery and be ready to play a full season is very important.
“We’re all aware, as it turns out, this is a contract to play football and the first year is a big one,” Jones said. “At the kinds of dollars we’re talking about, it’s just a given that you’d get the full year at top, physical condition, that’s what you’re getting. If you don’t get that it depreciates what you’re doing. It works both ways.”
Jerry Jones Not Sweating Tank Contract Yet - David Helman, DallasCowboys.com
Jerry Jones reminds us he’s been through this a number of times and exudes confidence all will be resolved.
That circles things back around to the beginning. From the sounds of it, the Cowboys and Lawrence haven’t made a ton of progress. As late as the hour might feel, though, they also have time. The deadline to reach a long-term deal with a franchise tagged player is July 15, which is still nearly four months away.
So the questions will persist, and Jones will keep answering them. He didn’t seem particularly bothered by the situation as it stands, noting that he has no intention of being “cavalier” about it.
After all, as he pointed out: he’s done this a few times before.
“This is a significant thing for not only our franchise but DeMarcus’ life,” he said. “It would make anyone be very, very judicious as they are working through the terms of this agreement. So the fact we don’t have something done today is not inordinate when you look at the things that are at stake here.”
Why did the Cowboys sign WR Randall Cobb, and what does he have left to give? – Bob Sturm, The Athletic
Excited about the addition of Randall Cobb to the Cowboys’ offensive arsenal? So is The Athletic’s Bob Sturm, who weighs in with his thoughts.
For $5 million, only $2 million of it guaranteed, this has a chance to be a really nice addition for the Cowboys. Cobb is very intelligent, knows what to do when plays break down and is not remotely scared of big moments.
He also has been through some wars and his body is not what it used to be. Perhaps it is an unfortunate series of events, but the more likely answer is this is what the normal decline of a smaller player built on speed looks like. Cobb has played for a long time and taken a lot of hits.
Either way, he is not Cole Beasley. He cannot run option routes all day underneath and uncover like Cole, but he can also run double moves, and Beasley has never shown that.
In other words, he will act as a different club in the bag of Prescott and Kellen Moore. He should present the Cowboys with some real opportunities, and with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup, provides Dallas a solid trio of receivers. Beasley was great at one thing. That was a very important thing, but it certainly also could lend to a bland design.
Scouting Report: Iloka’s Best Fit At Safety - Bryan Broaddus, DallasCowboys.com
Over at the Mothership former scout Bryan Broaddus breaks down the play of new safety George Iloka.
I believe he sees things well. There is football intelligence to his game. Doesn’t get fooled.
Nice job of disguising the blitz. Didn’t tip off that he was coming.
Consistent wrap up tackler. He’s not going to let you down in this area. He will deliver a blow on the goal line.
Would not call him quick footed. There is not smoothness to his game. His length doesn’t allow him to be quick. Hard for him to really cover ground. Feel he’s best when near the line.
Hard for him to close quickly from depth. Reacts the right way but can be a step late.
Roster holes filled, Cowboys can set up a pure draft board - Todd Archer, ESPN.com
Per the blueprint, the Cowboys modest free agent moves have met the number one objective: address any glaring holes in the roster so the team can pick the best players available in the draft.
The Cowboys have signed Randall Cobb, Christian Covington, Kerry Hyder and George Iloka to free-agent deals and retained Jamize Olawale, Cameron Fleming, Tavon Austin and L.P. Ladouceur while chewing up roughly $14 million in cap room.
Not only that, they have shored up the roster so they can go into the NFL draft not having to reach for a position.
Cobb is the biggest signing, but the cost was just a one-year, $5 million deal. Cobb can help replace the production lost by Cole Beasley's departure in free agency to the Buffalo Bills. The Cowboys also re-signed Austin on a one-year deal, and his versatility can help the offense, too.
Neither wide receiver signing would prevent the Cowboys from selecting a receiver in the draft. Drafts have to be about the bigger picture. The Cowboys might have filled needs for 2019, but Cobb, Austin and Allen Hurns will be free agents in 2020. Technically, Amari Cooper is a free agent after the 2019 season, as well, but the feeling is the Cowboys will work out a long-term deal. At the very least, they could use the franchise or transition tag on him in 2020.
John Mara only no vote for onside kick alternative - Staff, NFL.com
Tired of the bleak odds of on-sides attempts as the result of rules changes? Looking for an exciting way for team’s to possess the ball late after a score? Your dreams may soon become reality, as a proposal to give teams one play to gain 15 yards is gathering serious consideration.
The members believe it could be a fun option for teams, given that rule changes designed to make the kickoff safer have all but eliminated the chance to successfully execute an onside kick. The proposal calls for teams to get the option, a maximum of once per game during the fourth quarter only, of foregoing a kickoff and instead attempting to remain on offense following a score by converting what would essentially be a fourth-and-15 play from its own 35-yard line.
If the play is converted, the team keeps possession. If the attempt fails, the other team takes over possession.
The owners still have to vote this week after the rule is presented to them. But with only one no vote from the committee, there's a good chance that it could pass.
The NFL made wrong call by having Packers-Bears play in season opener - Andy Nesbitt, ForTheWin.com
So, apparently the Packers and Bears will face off in the NFL’s 2019 season opener. Not everyone is a fan of the decision.
And that’s just a dumb move by the NFL. For a number of reasons.
First, and most importantly, the game and party leading up to it should stick to being a celebration of the Super Bowl champs. It’s a great way to put a bow on the previous season and start a new one. You drop the banner, you shoot off fireworks, and then a new season and a new challenge begins for the champs.
Second, the 100th anniversary sounds good in a marketing meeting in the NFL offices on Park Avenue but I’m guessing that almost zero fans know that it’s the 100th year and would just shrug their shoulders upon hearing the news before going on with their lives. Nobody is going to be getting all nostalgic thinking about how long the NFL has been around… and the NFL is out of touch if it thinks anyone will in fact care.
Third, we don’t need to see Aaron Rodgers and the Packers play the Bears in the first game of the season. We’ve been there and done that a number of times on national television.
The full picture is more that the Eagles have held serve rather than received a roster boost. And given the team's recent championship and 2018 playoff appearance, that's just fine for continued competitive play. However, holding off a decline is not the same as getting better, and last year's edition of the Eagles looked like one that could have used some more help. Letting these players leave - and by extension, cleaving away their salaries - helped the cap situation, but required some moves simply to fill resulting new holes.
It should also be noted that the Eagles were the third-oldest team in the league last year on a per snap basis (credit to OCC for that research). Even holding serve with roster talent might not be enough to prevent a step back in the wins department.
Why a change-of-pace running back would be beneficial for the Cowboys - Staff, SportsDay.com
Finally, the SportDay staff addresses a number of questions, including whether a change of pace back would have much of a role to play with All World Ezekiel Elliott rarely leaving the field.
David Moore: A change of pace back would help diversify the offense, but ask yourself this. How many opportunities would he get, knowing every time he touches the ball Ezekiel Elliott doesn't? Elliott carried the ball 304 times from scrimmage and led the team with 77 receptions last season. That workload will lessen later in his career, but not yet. The concept of a change of pace back sounds great, but would he see enough time of the field to be of any true value? That's unlikely. The more likely scenario is that the Cowboys go with a back with a more complete skill set who could spell Elliott for a series or two or a game if he's injured.